We might ultimately be vindicated; only time will tell. But one thing is certain: we were mistaken in predicting since the beginning of June that European markets would continue to rise. We can take some comfort in the Eurostoxx index’s performance in dollar terms, a positive 1.7 % between May 31 and August 17, with nearly identical trends in indices on both sides of the Atlantic. This is not much consolation, however, given that we had been anticipating an appreciation in the euro, and this is exactly what has happened. The euro now stands at USD 1.18.
The European economy is picking up, and its outlook is improving. The risk of political extremes has been eliminated, and monetary policy is particularly accommodative. So how can we explain the underperformance of European markets, and what is in store for the coming months?