We have been attending Europe‘s largest Healthcare Conference in London, organised by Jefferies, a leading healthcare broker. The conference took place from November 20-21, 2019. Jefferies hosted 500 participating companies, 2’000 attendees and 5’000 business-to-business and investor meetings.
The conference encouraged our view of constructive prospects for the healthcare industry. Most presentations and management conversations were reassuring and signalled confidence for a continuation of the strong fundamental business trends Overall, we remain excited of what we see in the industry. From our point of view the overarching theme of the conference has been an acceleration of change across all facets of the healthcare environment.
In April, Healthcare rebounded after a subdued Q1, with the MSCI World Healthcare NR Index gaining 3.8% during the month. The MSCI World NR Index increased 4.7%. Re-opening/cyclical sectors suffered a temporary sharp selloff during the month. 10-year Treasury yields also backed down (from a peak of 1.74% at March-end to 1.64% today), potentially indicating some risk that it is too early to sound the all-clear on COVID-19.
Global equity markets remained volatile throughout the month due to news surrounding re-opening of economies, upward moving Treasury rates, fears of new COVID-19 waves and political/medical interfering with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The MSCI World Healthcare NR Index gained 2.5% in March, while the MSCI World NR Index rose 3.3.
The MSCI World Healthcare NR Index returned -2.7% in February, while the MSCI World NR Index rose 2.6%. During the last week of the month, many sectors took a hit because of rising 10-year Treasury rates (now at their highest levels in a year), enhancing on one hand the attractiveness of bonds vs. Equities and on the other hand propelling cyclical stocks.