The first quarter is winding down. For most investors it has been a good quarter. The performance of the US stock indices have risen more than they did all last year. Major bourses in Continental European bourses, like Germany, France, and Italy rose 10% thus far. The UK’s FTSE posted a respectable 7% gain. Japan’s Nikkei was rallied nearly 40% in the second half of last year managed to tack on almost another 3%.
Global bonds, on the other hand, fell amid US and ECB rate hikes and signals from the BOJ that the days of extraordinary monetary accommodation are nearing an end. In addition, data suggests that after a disappointing Q4 05, growth in the US and Europe recovered in Q1 06 and the most indications suggest the Japan’s economic recovery continue to broaden and deepen.