Nobody puts sterling in the corner

The story for September remains mundanely similar as for much of the year. Global political noise is barely being acknowledged by capital markets; central banks attempt to signal the way higher for rates without spooking the market; the global economy continues to bump along. Despite an increasingly aggressive stance from North Korea, a destructive hurricane … Continue reading “Nobody puts sterling in the corner”

Brexit, North Korea and Hurricane Harvey

August is the holiday month and with many key decision makers, in particular, the politicians, away from their desks, it’s normal for things to be a little quieter. Theresa May, for example, took a three-week break for some walking in the Swiss Alps, presumably with the ‘Sound of Music’ on her iPod and ‘Climb Every … Continue reading “Brexit, North Korea and Hurricane Harvey”

Summertime and the livin’ is easy

Stocks are jumping and the market is high (to paraphrase Ella Fitzgerald’s seasonal classic). After a slight blip in June, July saw investors shake off concerns over the potential for Central Bank tightening and global stockmarkets reverted to a sunny climate of positive returns and low volatility. The UK and most developed overseas markets posted … Continue reading “Summertime and the livin’ is easy”

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Investment sentiment continued to be dominated by political noise over the past month, with the French Presidential Election and Theresa May’s calling of a snap UK General Election taking over the front-page headlines from Trump and Brexit. The overall effect of the news-flow proved positive for global stockmarkets and the MSCI World index increased by … Continue reading “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”

Politics takes centre stage, once again

Overview Global equity markets (ex-UK) were relative sanguine in April, gaining between 1% and 3% in local currency once sterling volatility was removed.  As can be seen below, the strength of sterling post the election announcement has detracted from that performance for UK investors, while the market has repriced large cap UK companies for the … Continue reading “Politics takes centre stage, once again”

The Times They Are A Changin’…

It was a strange month for global stockmarkets, as March proved not too dissimilar to February in its outcome. With the exception of the US and Japan, which generally moved sideways, most equity markets moved higher. However, this was also echoed by government bond markets, with yields narrowing as investor ebullience over the Trump-driven reflation … Continue reading “The Times They Are A Changin’…”

The Only Way Is Up…

February was a month of  universal price rises across Developed Market equities, higher risk Emerging Market benchmarks as well as safe havens such as lower risk bond markets and gold – making it difficult to see what was the key themes motivating investors. Surely something has to give? On one hand for equity markets it … Continue reading “The Only Way Is Up…”

Increasingly hawkish language from the Federal Reserve

Although US economic growth proved somewhat disappointing during the final quarter of 2016, Fed policymakers appear ready to increase interest rates as soon as it becomes appropriate; indeed, Fed Chair Janet Yellen warned that an unnecessary delay in tightening could prove “unwise”.  Meanwhile, European investors faced fresh uncertainties surrounding Greece’s financial bailout. Leading equity markets … Continue reading “Increasingly hawkish language from the Federal Reserve”

Year of the (man sized) rooster

January saw the start of the Chinese New Year, marking the Year of the Rooster. Known for his crowing and tweeting, Donald Trump spent the month bringing a few policy chickens home to roost. Not least with his immigration ban which has led to some universal protestation.  Such politicking certainly influenced markets and currencies but … Continue reading “Year of the (man sized) rooster”

Monthly Commentary – October 2016

The FTSE World returned a little under 5% during the month of October. However, as has become a regular occurrence since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, currency devaluation was the primary driver of returns for UK investors. Versus the US Dollar, Sterling lost around 6% during the past month – essentially all in … Continue reading “Monthly Commentary – October 2016”

Sterling and US politics take centre stage in October

Sterling endured a torrid October against a backdrop of ongoing uncertainties surrounding the UK’s Brexit plans. The pound fell against the US dollar to reach its lowest level for over 30 years during the month, and against the euro to reach its lowest level since 2011. During October, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that she … Continue reading “Sterling and US politics take centre stage in October”

Gilt yields surged during October

UK gilt yields surged and prices fell in October amid waning demand for sterling-denominated assets. During October, the pound reached its lowest level against the euro since 2011 and its lowest level against the US dollar for over thirty years. Nevertheless, despite the ongoing weakness in the pound, the UK’s trade deficit widened during August: … Continue reading “Gilt yields surged during October”

A weak yen boosts Japanese equity markets

Equity markets across Asia generally declined during October, dampened by uncertainties over the outcome of November’s US Presidential election and a drop in the price of oil. In comparison, Japanese equity markets rose relatively strongly during October, boosted by a weakening in the value of the yen. The Nikkei 225 Index rose by 6.1%, while … Continue reading “A weak yen boosts Japanese equity markets”

US Presidential election takes centre stage

The imminent Presidential election continued to absorb much of the limelight in the US. On balance, investors appear to believe that Hillary Clinton will emerge victorious, although the House of Representatives is expected to remain in Republican hands, albeit with a lower majority. Nevertheless, in a close-run – and often bad-tempered – election campaign, investors … Continue reading “US Presidential election takes centre stage”