In September, the performance of global equities remained underwhelming, with the MSCI world (-4.5%) and MSCI emerging market (-2.81%) indices declining for the second consecutive month. This bearish undertone was likely due to the dollar strengthening amidst renewed inflation concerns, weak macroeconomic numbers in China, and a sharper-than-expected increase in crude oil prices. To the first point, the US dollar index touched its highest point in the year in September as a second straight surge in inflation to 3.7% (vs consensus of 3.6%) further entrenched expectations of higher-for-longer interest rates. Elsewhere, macroeconomic issues remained underscored by China's deepening real estate crisis and high youth unemployment. These issues have forced the World Bank to cut the country's growth forecast to 4.4% (vs. 4.8% in April and the country's central bank target of 5.0%). Similar to the US and China, European equities were negatively impacted by a fourth consecutive contraction in PMI to 47.1 in September, highlighting possible weaknesses in private sector activities.