As we approach the second half of 2018, macro uncertainty and cascading geo-political risks continue to impact markets and seem likely to befriend us for the rest of the year.

On the macro front, early-year inflation stresses have receded, yet bond yields (and oil prices) have lurched to new cycle highs, before settling lower. Global activity has lost momentum, yet recent data signal that a reacceleration in the back half of 2018 remains most likely. We hold fast to our thesis of robust and synchronised growth. But there are early signs that global growth leadership may be shifting to the US, underpinning US dollar strength and creating angst for emerging markets and tactical positioning.

On the geo-political front, risk continues to ebb and flow. Its amplitude has increased, and so too the frequency with which risks come and go. Markets now seem more sensitive to these happenings, though we still doubt they will materially shift the end-game. The world's evolution from hegemony to a multi-polar political landscape argues that volatile geo-politics will continue to have an impact on markets ahead.

This month we take a look at how markets have fared over the first half of the year and the extent our tactical calls have benefited returns. We also chart our course for the remainder of 2018, highlighting our key positions and why we choose to hold them.