On Friday the 24th June, the UK woke up to find that it had voted to leave the European Union. The result – and the subsequent political fallout – continues to dominate the news agenda. So it would be easy to conclude the ‘Brexit’ was the only worthwhile story in the second quarter of 2016. Far from it: in the UK the politicians took the occasional few moments off from the Remain/Leave spat to try and save the country’s steel industry; in Europe the problems of Greek debt continued and in the US there was a sudden – and potentially worrying – fall in the job creation numbers. The battle lines were also finally drawn for the US Presidential race, which at this early stage looks like it will make the Referendum campaign in the UK look restrained, polite and well-informed.
On the world’s stock markets, Q2 was a mixed bag: India – now the world’s fastest growing economy – was the standout performer, closely followed by the UK. The wooden spoon went to Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues his efforts to reverse ten years of deflation.