3 February 2023 Weekly Market Recap

5 min read     I     Date:07 February 2023

Market Data

Asset Class   Curr 1-wk 1-mth YTD 2023

MSCI World MXWO Index USD 1.3% -13.0% 8.4% -19.5%
S&P 500 SPX Index USD 1.6% -13.8% 7.7% -19.4%
Nasdaq NDX Index USD 3.3% -23.8% 14.9% -33.0%
Stoxx 600-Europe SXXP Index EUR 1.2% -6.0% 8.4% -12.9%
MSCI Asia Pac ex-Japan MXAPJ Index USD -1.1% -12.0% 9.5% -19.7%
ASEAN ASEAN40 Index USD -0.3% 7.6% 5.1% 2.4%
FBMKLCI FBMKLCI Index MYR -0.5% -3.8% -0.3% -4.6%

Fixed Income
Bberg Barclays Global Agg Index LEGAT RUU Index USD 0.2% -12.7% 3.5% -16.2%
JPM Asia Credit Index-Core JPEIJACC Index USD 1.0% -9.3% 4.5% -13.0%
Asia Dollar Index ADXY Index USD -0.4% -4.9% 1.5% -6.4%
Malaysia Corporate Bond Index BPAM Corps All Index MYR 0.27% 2.06% 1.99% 1.51%

Top Performing Principal Funds

Principal Small Cap Opportunities CTHDTRE MK Equity MYR 1.7% -6.8% 8.6% -13.3%
Principal China Direct Opportunities USD CPCDUSD MK Equity USD 2.6% -16.1% 11.6% -25.1%

Fixed Income
Principal Institutional Bond 7 CIMPIB7 MK Equity MYR 1.3% 2.9% 1.3% 1.6%


Source: Bloomberg, market data is as of 3 February 2023
*Top performing funds were based on weekly performance.
*Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

Market Review1

  1. The stock markets continued to perform favourably last week, with Developed Markets including United States (U.S.), Europe, and Japan extending their positive gains into February.
  2. Asian markets registered mixed performance for the week, with broad markets including China returned negatively while Taiwan and Thailand added positive gains. 
  3. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended lower for the week but sentiment turned positive on Friday supported by Wall Street’s relief rally after encouraging signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed). (A relief rally is a respite from a broader market sell-off that results in temporarily higher securities prices).
  4. Global bond performances were positive for the week with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling as low as 3.33% in intraday trading on Thursday before turning higher to end Friday at 3.53%. (Note: Bond prices and yields generally move in opposite directions).

Macro Factors

  1. In the U.S., stocks rallied following the Fed's latest meeting where it announced a 25-basis-point (0.25%) rate hike alongside some upside surprises in economic data and fourth-quarter earnings reports, which helped to ignite hopes that the Fed may manage a soft landing (soft landing refers to an effort on the part of the central bank to slow the economy and bring down inflation, while preventing the country from entering a recession).2
  2. In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its key interest rates by half a percentage point, taking the deposit rate to 2.5%. The central bank said headline inflations has begun to edge back but it still sees the need to raise rates by the same amount in March.
  3. In China, the equities fell in the first full week of trading as investors pocketed gains from a recent rally and turned cautious on the strength of the country’s recovery. China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.1 in January 2023 from December 2022’s 47.0. This marked a return to growth for the first time since September as domestic activity improved.

Investment Strategy5

      In the near term, market may still face headwinds in the form of central bank tightening, economic slowdown, and geopolitical conflict. Our broad strategy continues to favour selective approaches, and focus on the themes of Quality Growth, Income and Sustainability.

  1. On equities, we prefer quality factors as the macro and geopolitical backdrop remain uncertain. We are positive on Asia as sector earnings are poised to rerate supported by China’s rapid reopening.
  2. On Fixed Income, our preference remains on investment grade and that of longer duration. As we foresee volatility to stay elevated, we are keeping a bias for higher quality credit. We like bonds with an investment grade rating, ideally in the AA or A, and which could operate in a business that is somewhat immune to the economic cycle.
  3. For medium to long-term exposure, we prefer assets that offer structural opportunities. The shift towards energy, environmental, food, and technological security are likely to be among the key long-term growth drivers in the years to come.


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1Bloomberg, 3 February 2023
2Federal Reserve Board, 1 February 2023
3European Central Bank (ECB), 2 February 2023
4National Bureau of Statistic of China, 31 January 2023
5Principal view, 7 February 2023


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We have based this document on information obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, but we do not make any representation or warranty nor accept any responsibility or liability as to its accuracy, completeness or correctness. Expressions of opinion contained herein are those of Principal Asset Management Berhad only and are subject to change without notice. This document should not be construed as an offer or a solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe or sell Principal Asset Management Berhad’s investment products. The data presented is for information purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities or adopt any investment strategy. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice regarding a particular investment or the markets in general, nor is it intended to predict or depict performance of any investment. We recommend that investors read and understand the contents of the funds’ prospectus and product highlights sheet available on the Principal website, which have been duly registered with the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). Registration of these documents does not amount to nor indicate that the SC has recommended or endorsed the product or service. There are risks, fees and charges involved in investing in the funds. You should understand the risks involved, compare, and consider the fees, charges and costs involved, make your own risk assessment and seek professional advice, where necessary. This article has not been reviewed by the SC.