U.S. election: Trump win

Views from Blackrock’s Strategists & Portfolio Teams – We see Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory bringing market and policy uncertainty in the short run. Trump’s agenda lacks detail and departs from the Republican Party tradition on trade, security and entitlements. Tapping into a backlash against the Washington status quo, he has often … Continue reading “U.S. election: Trump win”

Is a Trump win now possible?

John Redwood, Charles Stanley’s Chief Global Strategist, looks at Donald Trump’s performance in the US presidential election campaign Mr Trump has so far outperformed in this election. The pundits wrote him off early on. The whole might of the Republican Party got behind an alternative candidate to try to prevent him getting the nomination. Many … Continue reading “Is a Trump win now possible?”

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”

Sterling remained under pressure in October

Sterling remained under pressure in October amid ongoing nervousness about the UK’s Brexit strategy. The pound reached its lowest level against the US dollar for thirty years and its lowest level against the euro since 2011. During the month, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that she intends to invoke Article 50 and start the process … Continue reading “Sterling remained under pressure in October”

Oil and financials dominated in September

UK equity growth – UK equity indices rose during September, although short-term sentiment and market movements were affected by developments in the financials and energy sectors, and broader speculation over US monetary policy. The banking sector was undermined by a steep fall in the share price of Germany’s Deutsche Bank The price of oil received … Continue reading “Oil and financials dominated in September”

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?”

Has China borrowed too much?

The worriers are back warning us that China has borrowed too much. If China was assessed by the same standards as the advanced world, they would be taking a different view. In China, state debt is only around 40% of GDP, compared to six times that amount in neighbouring Japan. The hostile commentators look at … Continue reading “Has China borrowed too much?”

The 3 Rs of India: reforms, RBI and (US) rate hikes

It’s been a really busy quarter for reform hasn’t it? Reforms in India are like buses: none appears for ages and then several arrive at the same time! Well that’s not quite true because change was taking place but it was of the incremental, under-the-radar sort. That’s one reason why India jumped 16 places in … Continue reading “The 3 Rs of India: reforms, RBI and (US) rate hikes”

How the stockmarket returned 81% without moving

The FTSE 100’s record high barely beats the level of 1999, yet investors have been richly rewarded, highlighting the power of dividends. Reinvesting dividends is one of the most powerful tools available to an investor to boost returns over time. If you had invested £100 on 30th December 1999 in the FTSE 100, the capital … Continue reading “How the stockmarket returned 81% without moving”

Should we worry about Japanese debts?

Investors like to worry. When you’ve got your money at risk it is natural to do so. It is commonplace to read about the very high levels of Japanese state debt, with some querying how much longer it can carry on. Japan has the highest level of state indebtedness of the main economies. Its gross … Continue reading “Should we worry about Japanese debts?”

Infrastructure spending: What’s not to like?

Is it time for an infrastructure push? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks so, and we agree. Public infrastructure investment not only provides a short-term lift to demand; it also helps economies to grow faster without hitting capacity constraints. And to these two benefits, we would add a third: increased infrastructure spending could help relieve … Continue reading “Infrastructure spending: What’s not to like?”