March was a month for optimism, about rising vaccination rates and about rapid economic recovery. A $1.9 trillion stimulus package was passed in the United States, which helped boost expectations of growth. Most major equity markets enjoyed strong gains in the month, while a blockage of the Suez Canal and the spectacular failure of a large hedge fund were short-lived news stories. North American bond yields climbed to pre-pandemic levels as investors anticipated the eventual end to extraordinary monetary stimulus and worried about massive government bond issuance to fund ongoing deficits. The rise in yields led to falling bond prices, particularly for mid and long term bonds. The FTSE Canada Universe Bond index returned -1.49% in March. (more…)