Where to next for the Eurozone

Will the Coronavirus battle trigger a Eurozone war? The economic and health impacts of coronavirus have not been distributed equally across the Eurozone. In particular, peripheral countries such as Italy have been hit hardest in human and economic terms. This has reopened old fault lines between member states about a shared fiscal policy to offset … Continue reading “Where to next for the Eurozone”

Assessing the economic hit from measures to stop Coronavirus

A summary of some of the estimates from industry bodies, economists and analysts on the impact of the economic damage from the measures introduced to slow the rate of infection of Covid-19.  The horse and cart made way for vehicles powered by the internal-combustion engine because the newcomer was faster and more efficient. Comparably, mass … Continue reading “Assessing the economic hit from measures to stop Coronavirus”

Scarring: Mapping the damage of the lockdowns

Governments are looking at the longer-term impact of lockdowns on their economies. Expect to hear more around the world about ‘scarring’ over the next few weeks. Chastened governments are examining the damage that lockdowns have brought. They are cautious about the speed at which they can relax to get more people back to work. They … Continue reading “Scarring: Mapping the damage of the lockdowns”

The shape of recovery

V, W, U or L? As the bear market continues, we’re looking ahead at the potential shape of economic recovery  – and what each different shape might mean for investors. V is for velocity Given the dramatic rises in stock markets in the past month, many investors may be hoping for a “V” shaped recovery. … Continue reading “The shape of recovery”

The hunt for quality and resilience

The enormous economic shock resulting from the pandemic will exacerbate or accelerate the existing problems and imbalances facing many companies and countries. For investors, an even more granular approach will be required when choosing between winners and losers. In this environment, ‘quality’ and ‘resilience’ are likely to become even more important investment themes, especially against … Continue reading “The hunt for quality and resilience”

Covid-19: the inescapable truths faced by investors

Investors will need to be more agile than ever as Covid-19 reinforces many of the trends driving the world economy prior to the outbreak. “At the beginning of the plague, when there was now no more hope but that the whole city would be visited; when all that had friends or estates in the country … Continue reading “Covid-19: the inescapable truths faced by investors”

Tiptoeing back to work

As the government starts easing some restrictions to try and get people back to work the danger of a spike in new Covid-19 infections is very real. This means it will take some time. On both sides of the Atlantic progress in getting back to work is slow and patchy. This is not going to … Continue reading “Tiptoeing back to work”

US profits: will they bounce back as quickly as investors think?

US earnings season is always a spectacle and this time around is no different. Well, no different but for one exceptional factor: Covid-19, and its effects on company profits. The businesses that make up the S&P 500 Index have started to tell us how they performed from January to March, a period of unprecedented operating … Continue reading “US profits: will they bounce back as quickly as investors think?”

Keep calm and carry on

An unexpected global pandemic has triggered the third bear market of the 21st century. At the start of the year, equity analysts had priced in profits growth of 5-10% a year, now they are downgrading their profits estimates by 5-10% a week. One of the deepest economic recessions since the 1930s will expose some well-known … Continue reading “Keep calm and carry on”

Covid-19: why the tech giants have emerged as winners

While many businesses struggle to survive under the global lockdown, the largest technology companies remain afloat and in some cases are even thriving. Microsoft has reported a surge in usage of its cloud computing service Azure, as millions of people work from home. Amazon is hiring an additional 75,000 workers, on top of the 100,000 … Continue reading “Covid-19: why the tech giants have emerged as winners”

Same virus, different market reactions

Coronavirus dominates share market thinking and brought on the big bear dip in most markets. It does not, however, seem to be the severity of the virus that differentiates between the different countries. This week the value of companies quoted on the US Nasdaq index continued to outpace the value of all the listed companies … Continue reading “Same virus, different market reactions”

Oil price shock: the implications

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused widespread disruption in equity and bond markets, but it has also had some major repercussions for the oil price. This week, the cost of a barrel of oil turned negative for the first time as demand plummeted. That means oil producers are paying buyers to take the commodity off their … Continue reading “Oil price shock: the implications”

Plumbing the depths

Yesterday The Office of Budget Responsibility in the UK tried to update its forecasts for the UK economy. They emerged at the pessimistic end of the current range of estimates but attracted news coverage because of who they are. They anticipate on the scenario they published a fall of 35% in the UK second-quarter GDP, … Continue reading “Plumbing the depths”

The importance of forecasting humility

It is natural to want to rush to judgement about the long-term changes the coronavirus pandemic will bring, whether in an attempt to get ahead of the game or simply impose some order amidst the chaos. But as understandable as that impulse is, it can also be dangerous, allowing highly speculative claims to circulate and … Continue reading “The importance of forecasting humility”

‘Lockdown for longer’ is a major market threat

Stock markets have staged a significant recovery from the Coronavirus slump, rallying sharply from lows hit in March. But gains of 10% or more are common in bear markets – and the crisis at many of the world’s businesses has only just begun. A wave of insolvencies will puncture the optimism, as companies with too … Continue reading “‘Lockdown for longer’ is a major market threat”