PORTUGAL - Portuguese pension funds are expected to return 0.1% in March, dragged down by poor returns from European equities.
According to Watson Wyatt estimates, Euro equities, including Portuguese, which make up about 24% of the total portfolio, was the main negative contributor, while public debt, which comprises 25% of the total portfolio, produced the highest return.
“March was characterised by the EUR/USD volatility, which was influenced by the monetary authorities’ comments and also by the US twin deficits and oil prices,” Watson Wyatt said.
“The rate reached 1.35 and thereafter corrected and closed the month only 2.3% above last month’s closing value. Another month has passed and once again the vagaries of oil price led the market direction (circa 8.5%, comparing with last month), due to the fall in US reserves and also because of the problems at Nigeria’s refineries, resulting in an increase of 34% since the beginning of 2005.
“As a consequence of these factors, together with the inflation expectations and subsequent interest rates volatility, equity markets showed a global depreciation.”
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