The first quarter of 2016 was defined by two distinct halves. The first half was marked with extreme periods of volatility as the MSCI World and S&P 500 Indexes fell 11.7 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, through February 11 before staging a historic intra-quarter rally during the latter half. Global equities, as measured by the MSCI World Index, returned –0.2 percent in the quarter.
The Dow Jones Brookfield Global Infrastructure Index outperformed both the MSCI World and S&P 500 Indexes in the first quarter, returning 8.2 percent. The Americas region gained 11.4 percent, followed by Europe (3.9 percent) and Asia Pacific (2.5 percent). Seven of eight sectors in the index were positive during the quarter including oil and gas storage and transportation (11.2 percent), electricity transmission and distribution (9.7 percent) and airports (6.5 percent).
In our view, the oil market is on its way to reaching a near-balanced state at some point in 2017. Within