How strong might the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery be?

Despite encouraging signs, policy support will be required for some time to come. It has been a tough start to the year for the UK. As lockdown restrictions continue to slowly ease, we examine the progress made in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, and whether hopes for a strong economic recovery are well founded. Vaccines offered … Continue reading “How strong might the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery be?”

Are higher business taxes on the horizon?

The finance ministers and central bankers of the world’s biggest economies met to refine their action plans for recovery and world financial governance. What are the likely outcomes? Finance ministers and central bankers want to set a minimum corporation tax rate for the world, partly to prevent the largest global companies such as the digital … Continue reading “Are higher business taxes on the horizon?”

UK mid-caps – far from middle of the road

No matter what their size, the past few years have been tricky for UK companies. First Brexit, then the Covid-19 pandemic – two headwinds that saw many investors leave the UK equities market for more certain climes. Now though, with an acceptable Brexit conclusion and a potential vaccine-led recovery, we believe UK equities, mid-caps in … Continue reading “UK mid-caps – far from middle of the road”

Which equity sectors can combat higher inflation?

The sharp rise in bond yields over recent weeks has rattled equity markets amid fears that fiscal stimulus and a post-pandemic spending splurge could stoke higher inflation. Five-year inflation expectations, as measured by the yield difference between nominal and inflation-protected US Treasury bonds, have rebounded sharply from their pandemic lows and are now at 2.5% … Continue reading “Which equity sectors can combat higher inflation?”

The pandemic takes a large toll on Europe

Europe has endured one of the worst experiences of the pandemic worldwide, with high case rates and all too many deaths. By 18 March, the European Union’s official figures showed 24 million cases to date and 577,000 mortalities. All seven of the countries that have recorded more than 1,900 deaths per million from Covid-19 globally … Continue reading “The pandemic takes a large toll on Europe”

Steering a course to UK equities for the opportunities ahead

It’s not an easy time to be an investor. 2020 was a rollercoaster year whatever asset class you invested in. Even looking ahead, it’s understandable that investors may be nervous about making any big asset allocation decisions at the moment. However, at times of uncertainty and change, some of the best investment opportunities can reveal … Continue reading “Steering a course to UK equities for the opportunities ahead”

Running hot – but not too hot?

Last year, the big themes that found favour in the market were the digital winners from lockdown and the potential green winners from Build Back Better. This year, there is more emphasis on the shorter-term winners from recovery. The speed and nature of that recovery is now at the heart of the market debates. Will … Continue reading “Running hot – but not too hot?”

Emerging markets lag in Covid-19 vaccine race

Constraints on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines have meant that the roll-out has been much slower in  emerging markets (EM) relative to developed markets. While some EM such as Chile and those in Central Eastern Europe are distributing inoculations relatively quickly, most are lagging behind. Despite warm words in recent weeks, the hoarding of vaccines … Continue reading “Emerging markets lag in Covid-19 vaccine race”

Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive

The big news from the fourth-quarter reporting season is that earnings growth is back. Consensus expectations for were for further contractions in corporate earnings, but instead we’ve seen an expansion – in the US at least. Now that most of S&P 500’s constituents have reported, some 83% have surprised positively – well above the historical … Continue reading “Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive”

Why you should know your index

The FTSE 100 has been a relative underperformer because of its high weighting in financial and commodity companies. The indices that have outperformed have businesses that look to the future. The last few years have seen wide divergence in the performance of different international equity indices. Over the last five years, Nasdaq – the world’s … Continue reading “Why you should know your index”

How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic

It seems ancient history now, but 2020 opened with a high degree of optimism for Asian markets. True, valuations were no more than reasonable given the share price gains of the previous twelve months, but conditions appeared favourable and there was a widespread consensus on a global economic recovery and a strong year ahead for … Continue reading “How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic”

What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?

This year Chinese New Year ushers in the Year of the Ox, which began on Friday. The Ox is thought to be a symbol of reliability, strength, patience and caution. It is also associated with harvesting, fertility and prosperity. After a tumultuous 2020, many an investor will welcome financial markets that are reliable, strong and … Continue reading “What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?”

Bitcoin should not be considered an investment

Investors should be wary of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Charles Stanley does not consider them an ‘investable asset’ and we wouldn’t include digital coins in any of our portfolios. Cryptocurrencies were established to take the government out of money. Many people don’t trust central banks, believing these institutions will devalue their wealth by manipulating the … Continue reading “Bitcoin should not be considered an investment”

Going Green In China

China needs massive investment to meet its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. Estimates range from some US$6 trillion up to US$16 trillion. President Xi Jinping announced his country’s historic goal via a video link at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September1. Carbon neutrality means China would have to remove … Continue reading “Going Green In China”

The virus is still costing the economy dear

Despite the equity market exuberance as vaccines boost recovery hopes, the spread of Covid-19 is still having a significant economic impact and will have for some time to come. Equity markets are well advanced in pricing in a strong economic recovery this year from the lockdowns on both sides of the Atlantic. It still seems … Continue reading “The virus is still costing the economy dear”