The Brexit deadline looms

The UK ended February with the question of Brexit still unanswered.  The month was dominated by political newsflow as concerns over Brexit were compounded by the resignation of eleven MPs who left the Conservative or Labour parties to form ‘The Independent Group’.  A second ‘meaningful vote’ on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal will take … Continue reading “The Brexit deadline looms”

Brexit plan B looks like plan A as prime minister rules out delay

The government risks losing control to parliament but probability of no deal remains as high as ever.  Having survived a vote of no confidence, Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to update the House of Commons on the government’s “plan B” for Brexit. In her statement, May promised to work with members of parliament (MPs) … Continue reading “Brexit plan B looks like plan A as prime minister rules out delay”

UK economic outlook hinges on May selling deal

The UK government and European Commission have announced that the broad terms of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement have been finalised. This lays the path for completion in the next few weeks, and the UK entering a transition period following its exit from the European Union on 29 March 2019. The 585-page draft agreement follows most … Continue reading “UK economic outlook hinges on May selling deal”

Why UK-focused stocks look their cheapest in a decade

Uncertainty about the country’s long-term relationship with the European Union, its biggest trading partner, has left many international investors nervous about investing in UK companies. One recent poll showed that UK stocks were the least popular asset class among global fund managers. I disagree. I can see bright spots in the UK stockmarket that offer … Continue reading “Why UK-focused stocks look their cheapest in a decade”

When economic pessimism means more hikes, not fewer

There has been a striking shift in recent Bank of England (BoE) communication. In the minutes of its September meeting, policy makers noted that “some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months.” This message was then reiterated in speeches by noted ‘dove’ Gertjan Vlieghe and Bank Governor Mark Carney. … Continue reading “When economic pessimism means more hikes, not fewer”

Markets shrug at May’s Florence speech

Theresa May’s speech confirmed that the UK is seeking a transition period but gave few further details on the final shape of Brexit. Investors had hoped that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Florence speech would be the factor that pushed Brexit negotiations forward. However, the speech was a slightly softer version of her Lancaster House speech … Continue reading “Markets shrug at May’s Florence speech”

Brexit: One year on

On the first anniversary of the historic vote to leave the European Union, a panel of Schroders’ experts look at the impact the referendum has had on the UK from an economic, fixed income and equity perspective.  When the result of the UK’s EU referendum confirmed that the UK had voted to leave, markets were … Continue reading “Brexit: One year on”

France matters

Governments come and go in the Euro area. It often makes little difference to investors. The Euro sails on, the European Central Bank sets interest rates, economic policy has to bow to the deficit requirements and other rules of the EU. The scope for individual country differentiation is narrow. Countries that defy the scheme deliberately … Continue reading “France matters”

No Brexit plan – but a clearer destination

Theresa May has given much more detail than previously on what the UK’s negotiating objectives will be when it starts on the road out of the European Union (EU). The speech did not answer all the questions that Britain’s business community and trading partners might have, or remove all of the uncertainties hanging over Britain’s … Continue reading “No Brexit plan – but a clearer destination”

Autumn statement 2016: will the sums add up?

The EU referendum result casts a long shadow over the chancellor’s 2016 Autumn Statement, resulting in a surprisingly modest downgrade to the economy’s growth prospects but a sharp worsening of its fiscal outlook. Within these tight parameters, Mr Hammond has done what he can: setting new fiscal rules, highlighting the UK’s long-term challenges, and raising … Continue reading “Autumn statement 2016: will the sums add up?”

Brexit is not Brexit?

Much to the surprise of legal experts, the government and, presumably, to those who voted to leave the European Union, Brexit is now once again in doubt. The High Court has declared that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote. The Government will appeal, of course, but sterling is already higher on … Continue reading “Brexit is not Brexit?”

Sterling work…

With sterling having just plunged to a 31-year low against the US dollar, it’s interesting to note some of the similarities between the UK now and back in 1985. We had a female prime minister at the helm (Margaret Thatcher), while rival political factions vied to take control of the UK’s Labour Party (Neil Kinnock … Continue reading “Sterling work…”

Sterling weakness and plenty of money

The UK has been battling down its government deficit for the last seven years.  In the March Budget book they forecast an annual deficit of £55bn for the present year, down from £72 bn this year. They also forecast a falling path for UK state borrowing as a proportion of our GDP, with net debt … Continue reading “Sterling weakness and plenty of money”

“Hard Brexit” hint sinks sterling, raises relocation risk

Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s suggestion that the UK is heading for a “hard” Brexit, international companies are now more likely to relocate than risk remaining in the country. After months of speculation as to the timing and direction of the UK’s Brexit negotiations, Prime Minister May not only revealed that she plans to trigger … Continue reading ““Hard Brexit” hint sinks sterling, raises relocation risk”