For some time interest rate trends among major economies have been diverging and given the relative strength in the US economy, it is increasingly possible that the Federal Reserve will raise rates again this summer, probably by 0.25%. It is our view that markets, both in the US and elsewhere, are broadly discounting this and the “taper tantrums” seen a year or so ago at present appear unlikely to recur unless US rates rise faster than is anticipated.

In the UK, we are now in the final period of the EU Referendum campaign. From our perspective, as financial planners and investment advisers, we believe that a vote for “Brexit” would lead to considerable and highly unpredictable risks of economic disruption in the UK, and possibly more widely in Europe. This damaging option, if it were to happen, would lead us to reconsider aspects of asset allocation within portfolios.

In China, growth continues to ease, much as expected, as the swing from manufacturing for export towards consumer expenditure remains a less than straightforward operation.

Against this somewhat uncertain overall background, markets have remained relatively sanguine and portfolio values have been broadly stable so far this year. For the moment at least, our overall asset allocation strategy is unchanged.