International Equity Commentary | Q3 2019

Quarterly Letter

The Altrinsic International Equity composite gained 1.0% during the third quarter, outperforming declines of 1.1% and 1.8% by the MSCI EAFE and ACWI ex-US indices, respectively, as measured in US dollars.  International markets actually delivered positive returns, as measured in local currencies, but weakness in non-US currencies versus the US dollar more than offset underlying gains.  Dovish central banks and subdued inflation provided a supportive backdrop for equities, but the weight of tepid growth in profits, weakening economic indicators, high debt levels, and escalating geopolitical risk (US-China trade war, US politics, Brexit, and developments in the Middle East, to name a few) contributed to volatility that is likely to persist.  Aggregate portfolio risk, measured by beta, is well below market levels, and we continue to emphasize attractively priced businesses in which our underlying investment theses are not highly dependent on the broad economy.