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Monthly summary – June 2024

Events during the month of June centered on the continuing geopolitical unrest around the world. The war in Ukraine intensified, negotiations to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip failed, and Putin and Kim Jong Un deepened their cooperation. Financially, June saw overall strong equity markets, especially for the technology sector, but consumer-driven companies in the healthcare sector experienced a weaker period.

Still no end in sight for the war in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine increased in intensity. Several Western countries allowed military equipment donated or sold by them to Ukraine to be used (with some restrictions) against military targets and other entities engaged in the war inside Russia. The US also promised to deliver more air defense systems (Patriot missile systems) and Israel indicted that it was likely to also contribute several older versions of the system to Ukraine. Furthermore, the US signed a 10-year security agreement with Ukraine.

Right-wing winds within the EU

The EU elections resulted in increased influence for right-wing parties, but probably with only limited consequences for the EU’s actual policies. Following a failed EU campaign, French President Macron called for new parliamentary elections. In other news, the EU criticized seven countries within the Union for breaking the common budget rules: France, Belgium, Italy, Slovakia, Malta, Poland and Hungary. As part of Ukraine’s and Moldova’s membership applications, the EU held its first intergovernmental conferences with both countries in June.

Game on… in the US presidential campaign

The big debate meeting between Biden and Trump was marked by a particularly poor performance by President Biden. The Democrats saw an increased risk of losing the presidential election this fall. Speculation intensified that President Biden had to pull out of the re-election campaign.

Financial markets developed well

US interest rates fell in June before rising again and ended the month almost unchanged. US inflation, measured as the consumer price index and PCE, continued to show signs of falling inflationary pressure. June was a strong month for the world index with an increase of just over 3 percent measured in euros. Technology stocks remained very strong, with AI chip company Nvidia’s stock showing particular strength.

Major pharmaceutical companies had a strong month

The healthcare index rose almost as much as the world index. The biotech sub-sector recovered somewhat, albeit from a low level. Small caps generally continued their consolidation and experienced relative weakness. Consumer-driven companies in healthcare also showed weakness which could be interpreted as concern for the strength of the consumer. The major pharmaceutical companies, led by Eli Lilly and Novo, performed well during the month.



Despite the recent increase in geopolitical unrest, stocks as an asset class have performed strongly overall. Falling inflation and good profit prospects are quite simply seen as being more important than geopolitics in the short term. Moreover, geopolitics can be interpreted in several ways; Ukraine is now, for example, in a better position to defend itself. The Palestine issue has only a relatively limited impact on the global economy, given that Iran has not launched a ground attack against Israel, and the risk that it will still appears to be small. It is difficult to see North Korea being able to trigger a global conflict given that any aggression against South Korea would, in all likelihood, end in the collapse of the North Korean regime. Finally, the French parliamentary election and the election in Great Britain are unlikely to lead to changes that have a significant impact on the world economy.

So, what are we really waiting for to see a broader participation in the market? The answer is most likely the reporting season, the US election and lower interest rates. In the meantime, we believe the technology sector and companies that are less affected by interest rates and the election will continue to perform. Biotechnology might need to see a couple of interest rate cuts as support, but the timing is quite difficult to predict. Our belief is that the healthcare sector is fundamentally strong, and that biotechnology in particular should have a lot to offer for the rest of this year and 2025. Our strategy to focus on medical innovation and structural growth remains firm.