Fasten seatbelt for pre-election rollercoaster
In September 2020 the MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index returned -1.4%. The MSCI World NR Index decreased by -3.5%. Healthcare extended its outperformance over global equities to 4.6% year-to-date. Over the month, global equities traded choppy. Besides COVID-19 newsflow, the approaching US elections brought some additional volatility to markets. The Healthcare sector, being one of the most politically sensitive sectors, with lot of debates around drug pricing and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is not new to such trading behaviour before of US elections (see “In the spotlight” on next page).
Healthcare started 2021 on a very positive note, outperforming most of the other sectors (Energy, 3.0%, being the sole exception). The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index gained 1.1% in January 2021, while the MSCI World NR Index declined 1.0%.
The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index rose by 9.0% in November 2020 and the MSCI World NR Index gained 12.8%. November was the best month for global equities year-to-date (12.8%), with cyclicals outperforming defensive sectors.
The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index posted a -4.88% loss in October 2020. The MSCI World NR Index was down -3.07%. Global equity markets remained volatile during the month. The rising number of COVID-19 cases and new containment measures lead to a deja-vu correction in the last few days of October.