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Whilst Japan is the worst performing market year-to-date, we believe that the fundamentals remain intact and the prospects for earnings growth in the region are good. We are cognisant, however, that Japan is a globally-integrated market, so not immune to macro headwinds.

The momentum behind growth and employment in the US will be key for the trajectory of quantitative easing and interest rate rises, going forwards. We expect developed markets to be characterised by low rates, subdued inflation pressures and low-to-moderate growth. We also expect central banks to err on the side of growth and accommodation. As such, we remain comfortable with a higher allocation to equities and our continued overweight to the US. However, we note that since the start of 2013, emerging markets have underperformed the US by 35% and spreads on emerging market debt have been close to 400 basis points over US treasuries. We will look to take advantage of value in these markets in due course.

David Coombs, Head of Multi-Manager Investments, Rathbones

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