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Second quarter domestic and international economic data points appeared far more positive on balance relative to numbers released in the first quarter. Still, asset class returns were muted as investors worried about the impact of rising interest rates on bond prices, and the potential ramifications from failed bailout talks between Greece and its creditors. Price trends in oil and the dollar reversed during the quarter, relieving pressure in areas of the market that had been hurt by the dramatic price action that occurred over the preceding three quarters. After dipping below $45 per barrel in the first quarter (from a high of $107 last July), oil (West Texas Intermediate) rebounded early in the second quarter and traded at approximately $60. The U.S. dollar’s break from a long-running streak of appreciation, meanwhile, was welcomed by domestic exporters. Over the same period as oil’s decline, the greenback had appreciated 25% against a trade-weighted basket of currencies.
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