Emerging markets: increasing or decreasing risks?

So far, 2018 has been a difficult year for emerging market (EM) assets, which in the last few months have fared significantly worse than their counterparts in developed markets. This has been due mainly to worldwide issues but also country-specific political uncertainty. Many investors are now asking if the sell-off presents a buying opportunity – … Continue reading “Emerging markets: increasing or decreasing risks?”

When you get to a trillion dollars that is serious money

The race has been on for some months to see which company can first reach a market value of $1 trillion. Apple was in the lead for most of the time, with Amazon and Alphabet in contention. Yesterday Apple hit the newsworthy level. It was a fitting achievement for a company that has come to … Continue reading “When you get to a trillion dollars that is serious money”

Brexit risk fails to deter BoE from rate hike

The Bank of England (BoE) has raised its main policy interest rate from 0.50% to 0.75% – its highest level since March 2009 and the first hike above the post-financial crisis level. The Bank backed away from raising rates in February owing to a significant slowdown in growth. However, data on retail sales and production … Continue reading “Brexit risk fails to deter BoE from rate hike”

Is the trade war really all about the mid-term elections?

US President Donald Trump’s trade war could damage the global economy, but is he just playing politics? Steve Mnuchin did not hold any formal meetings with China at this weekend’s meeting of G20 finance ministers in Buenos Aires. This is despite the US Treasury Secretary indicating recently in Congress that he was prepared to reopen … Continue reading “Is the trade war really all about the mid-term elections?”

Globalisation – Nothing new under the sun

There is nothing new about geopolitics. Geography – both physical and human – has influenced politics and international relations for centuries, even millennia. But the nature of geopolitical risk has changed over time. During the Cold War, geopolitical risks for Western governments and the corporate world were focused on Moscow’s motivations and behaviour, the possibility … Continue reading “Globalisation – Nothing new under the sun”

Why is this such a worried bull market?

Normally bull markets are full of people who are optimistic. They radiate enthusiasm for economies and shares. They hunt down markets or individual stocks that look cheap compared to the rest and recommend them. They recommend simply buying the global or local market to join in a general uplift in shares they expect. Eventually you … Continue reading “Why is this such a worried bull market?”

Trade War: A game of strategy

Donald, who? In early 2016, Parmenion used the incoming US President, Donald Trump as the theme for our regional roadshows. Who was he and what were his plans? We talked about The Wall, his infrastructure plans, tax cutting ideas and the promised support for the military. We didn’t foresee the Russian investigation, high White House staff … Continue reading “Trade War: A game of strategy”

This bull market has relied on technology shares

This has been a long and unusually hesitant and worried bull market. Indeed, there have been a substantial number of sectors that have lived through their own bear markets whilst the overall indices push on to new highs. The US has outperformed the other advanced country equity markets and China easily over the twelve months, … Continue reading “This bull market has relied on technology shares”

The potential income shock awaiting pension savers

A global study of investor attitudes finds that those close to retirement expect to replace 74% of their salary when they give up work. The reality for those already retired is very different. After a lifetime of saving, investors may be in for a shock when they come to retire, the results of a global … Continue reading “The potential income shock awaiting pension savers”

Investors are hoping Trump is playing tactics

When equity markets were hitting new highs Donald Trump was taking all the credit. “The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me,” the President declared to journalists aboard Air Force One. But the problem with this attitude, as noted by Barack Obama’s former press secretary Jay Carney, is that if you … Continue reading “Investors are hoping Trump is playing tactics”

Brexit vote two years on: are we heading for a hard Brexit?

Two years have passed since the UK’s historic referendum on leaving the European Union, yet the big questions over the future relationship with the UK’s biggest trading partner remain unanswered. Will the UK remain in the EU’s customs union? Will it be a member of the single market? Will the UK face tariffs on its … Continue reading “Brexit vote two years on: are we heading for a hard Brexit?”

Bordering on a Customs Union

Since the start of this year, the UK political consensus has moved towards a customs union for goods, including agricultural trade, in the final UK-European Union (EU) free trade agreement. This is largely the result of the EU’s rejection of the UK’s alternative proposals to solve the Irish border issue and the Labour party making … Continue reading “Bordering on a Customs Union”

More trade disruption from US sanctions on Iran

There has been plenty of attention to the way the EU is caught in the crossfire of the US trade dispute with China. We also need to remember that the EU also stands to lose from the US wider dispute with Iran. The EU exported $10.8bn to Iran last year and is worried that US … Continue reading “More trade disruption from US sanctions on Iran”

Technology is central to these stock markets

When Nasdaq sneezes, world stock markets catch a cold. What began as a world share market correction based on worries about rising interest rates, soon became a series of fears about how much more technology stocks can achieve after a stellar performance in recent years. Facebook got into trouble for its business model and has … Continue reading “Technology is central to these stock markets”

The IMF and World Bank must evolve to remain relevant

It is hard to square a US President bent on protectionism with two institutions that have been a bulwark for free trade for over 70 years. The Bretton Woods institutions, as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are known collectively, were created during the Second World War to support the post-war economic and … Continue reading “The IMF and World Bank must evolve to remain relevant”