Back on the Brexit rollercoaster: buckle up for a bumpy ride

What’s happening with Brexit? The UK and European Union (EU) resumed Brexit negotiations over the summer but made limited progress. The political drama and posturing that accompanied the proceedings look certain to persist in the coming weeks. It appears the UK intends proposing domestic laws to weaken its Withdrawal Agreement commitments on the border between … Continue reading “Back on the Brexit rollercoaster: buckle up for a bumpy ride”

What will the US elections do to markets?

The question whether Democrats or Republicans will have a majority in the House of Representatives and Senate matters to markets. According to the polls, the Presidential election is Joe Biden’s to lose. He has been comfortably ahead by around 8% in the national polls for some time. He is also ahead in most of the … Continue reading “What will the US elections do to markets?”

Will decarbonisation be the mega-trend of the next decade?

US equities have led global stock markets higher over the past decade. In the last ten years, US equities have returned a stellar 292%, compared to just 73% for global equities (as measured by the MSCI USA Index and MSCI AC World ex US Index respectively, in US dollar terms, as at 31 August 2020). … Continue reading “Will decarbonisation be the mega-trend of the next decade?”

China plans to pull further ahead of the US in 5G

The fractious relationship between the US and China is changing global supply chains. China now plans to leapfrog the US in an essential component of the future economy, increasing divisions further. When Beijing decided that China needed to become an atomic power in the 1960s, its centrally-planned state directed significant resources and resolve into developing … Continue reading “China plans to pull further ahead of the US in 5G”

A deepening divide: emerging markets and the second-quarter earnings season

Emerging markets (EMs) are often discussed as if they were somehow homogenous. That, however, is misleading. The differences between the individual markets included in EM indices are profound. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed these fundamental differences – especially those between emerging Asian economies and other parts of the developing world. And EM companies’ second-quarter earnings … Continue reading “A deepening divide: emerging markets and the second-quarter earnings season”

Looking back at the markets through August

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review   Share price rises defy an uncertain outlook Global share prices generally rose during August as investors took heart from ongoing fiscal and monetary support alongside some encouraging economic data. Nevertheless, the global economic outlook remains “highly uncertain”, according to the World … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through August”

Has “Eat Out to Help Out” saved the UK hospitality sector?

The UK’s hospitality industry began to emerge from lockdown on 4 July when pubs, restaurants and cafes in England were allowed to re-open. Their Scottish counterparts followed from mid-July. The end of lockdown didn’t mean an end to the challenges facing the sector, with social distancing rules limiting capacity and customers wary of venturing to … Continue reading “Has “Eat Out to Help Out” saved the UK hospitality sector?”

Do shares always win in the long run?

It used to be a common belief of many managers that if you bought and held a portfolio of shares over any market cycle you would earn a decent return. This argument may be changing. The argument went that the sharp cycles in shares were based on shallower and shorter cycles for economies. They might … Continue reading “Do shares always win in the long run?”

Riding the central bank stimulus

The major issues today are how fast the recovery will be, how widespread will it be, and how much permanent damage will remain. Bulls in the stock market are excited by the recovery cycle. It now looks as if all the major economies have passed the worst of their troughs in output and incomes brought … Continue reading “Riding the central bank stimulus”

Looking back at the markets through July

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review  The other “R” number … Recession Early in July, investors were buoyed by news of progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines. However, as the month continued, optimism was tempered by a surge in infection rates in countries including the US, … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through July”

The US Presidential election remains an uncertainty for markets

The US presidential elections take place on November 3 and Donald Trump is now closing the gap in the polls with Joe Biden. The result remains too close to call. The US election is now Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s to lose. Donald Trump’s grand strategy has been badly damaged by the virus. His plan was … Continue reading “The US Presidential election remains an uncertainty for markets”

What could a Biden presidency mean for climate change investing?

Joe Biden in the White House, and potentially Democrats in control of the Senate too, could turbo-charge climate change as an investment theme. The US response to Covid-19 looks set to be the dominant election issue as we head towards the November polls. Myriad other issues also compete for voters’ attention, and climate change often … Continue reading “What could a Biden presidency mean for climate change investing?”

The performance of world markets in the pandemic

Equity-market performance around the world has diverged in response to government stimulus measures and those exposed to the digital revolution. At the end of July, the S&P 500 index of larger US company shares pushed ahead of its starting level this year. Nasdaq powered on, forming more new highs. It has now delivered a 22% … Continue reading “The performance of world markets in the pandemic”

Investors expect even higher returns from the stock market in years ahead – despite coronavirus shock

Savers predict annual returns of 10.9% from their stock market investments, even as Covid-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession. Investors continue to hope for double-digit yearly total returns from their portfolios, despite the huge blow inflicted on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to … Continue reading “Investors expect even higher returns from the stock market in years ahead – despite coronavirus shock”

Brazil: will this emerging market ever emerge?

Will Brazil be an emerging market that never quite emerges? In the 2000s, the Latin American giant was making impressive progress in converging with developed economies. But since the global financial crisis of 2008, it has surrendered most of these gains. Today, the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting the country hard, threatening not only the health … Continue reading “Brazil: will this emerging market ever emerge?”