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In a start, to the year global stock markets have experienced their first quarter performance since 2019 mainly driven by the growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI).

The MSCI World Index, which reflects equity markets has risen by 8% since the beginning of the year signaling a period of optimism among investors not seen in the last five years.

This rise has been particularly noticeable in the United States, where the S&P 500 index for U.S. Equities has surged by 11% reaching highs. This upward trend is largely credited to the increasing investor excitement around AI leading to investments in U.S. Technology companies. Nvidia, a producer of computer chips for AI technologies has witnessed an 88% surge in its stock prices driving its market value close to $2.3 trillion.

The impact of this technology fueled surge has reverberated across industries with companies like Meta ( Facebook) General Electric, Walt Disney and Eli Lilly seeing significant increases in their stock prices.

Meta specifically announced intentions to give back $50 billion to its shareholders after reporting record revenues and a notable rise, in profits further boosting market confidence.

Despite the improvement the UKs FTSE 100 index has shown more modest progress lagging behind with a 3% uptick. The London Stock Exchange has encountered difficulties, in retaining businesses as some have chosen to list in New York to tap into a pool of funds. Nonetheless there are signs that British stocks are starting to recover, with the FTSE 100 registering a 4.2% increase in the month.

Investor confidence has remained strong despite worries about inflation, which have tempered hopes for interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. Recent figures revealed that the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation rate stood at 2.5% in February slightly surpassing the Feds desired target of 2%.

The robustness of the economy combined with inflation projections has led to a more positive sentiment among investors. This positive outlook is further supported by expectations of central bank interest rate reductions prompting a shift towards stocks in pursuit of yields.

Nevertheless experts warn that continuous market expansion could face challenges if inflation persists and potentially delay the awaited change in the Feds strategy.

In essence the first quarter of this year has marked a moment for stock markets driven by excitement for artificial intelligence technologies and strong financial showings, across various industries.

Despite some existing obstacles, regarding inflation and interest rate strategies the overall outlook, among investors suggests a path ahead, in the near future.