Three reasons why I’m optimistic on Japanese equities

Investors are overlooking a number of structural shifts that could help improve returns in Japan. When Japan has hit the headlines this year, it’s largely been for short-term factors. A change of prime minster, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and a relatively successful handling of the Covid-19 crisis are all noteworthy. But there’s a … Continue reading “Three reasons why I’m optimistic on Japanese equities”

What President Biden will mean for markets

Although recounts and legal challenges relating to the election need to be resolved, markets are moving on to considering what a Biden Presidency will mean. The media have decided Joe Biden will be the next President of the USA. Three states still need to complete their counts. In Georgia, there is likely to be a … Continue reading “What President Biden will mean for markets”

The COVID crisis – from risk to opportunity

As recessions go, Covid was an unusually deep one, with many advanced and emerging economies contracting by well over 10% from peak to trough and a few by closer to 20%. However, it was also unusually brief, with the period of contraction lasting for only 1-3 months in most countries, as well as atypically strong; … Continue reading “The COVID crisis – from risk to opportunity”

Looking back at the markets through October

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review The “second wave” breaks Share prices fell heavily around the world during October as Covid-19 infection rates continued to rise. Governments intensified their lockdown measures, triggering concerns over prospects for economic recovery. “In the UK, rising infection rates led the Government … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through October”

Debts, deficits and stimulus

We have just witnessed the Japanification of world finance as central bank attempt to counteract measures to stop Covid-19. How will this all end? Never before in human history has so much extra money been created by central banks and thrown at a deep recession. Never have governments pledged to borrow so much as they … Continue reading “Debts, deficits and stimulus”

Commercial Property Market Review – October 2020

Our monthly property market review is intended to provide background to recent developments in commercial property markets, as well as to give an indication of how some key issues could impact in the future. Google commits to London office space Although the multinational US tech giant has informed its 4,500 staff in the UK they … Continue reading “Commercial Property Market Review – October 2020”

The EU gets serious about net zero

The Green revolution is wide-ranging and will have a huge impact on all our lives and investments. The European Council was advised by the Commission on Thursday night last week that it needed to up its game and go for a much higher target of carbon dioxide reduction by 2030. The Commission proposes a 55% … Continue reading “The EU gets serious about net zero”

Fed repression could turn to Fed regret

At its latest policy meeting the US Federal Reserve (Fed) signalled that interest rates would be close to zero for the next three years as it aimed to hit its new objective of a 2% average inflation target and maximum employment. The central bank’s economic projections show that it intends to run the economy “hot” … Continue reading “Fed repression could turn to Fed regret”

ESG investing more important than ever

Many investors are interested in the impact of their investments on the world around them, as well as in the financial performance of the companies in which they invest. Next year, the investment industry in the European Union (EU) will be under a regulatory requirement to take Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters into account … Continue reading “ESG investing more important than ever”

The US election – just political noise?

The weakness in US equity markets in September appeared to come as a surprise to many investors, despite history pointing to this being seasonally quite typical. After such a strong and persistent rally since the Covid-19 lows of March, profit taking and market consolidation should be seen as a positive rather than a negative. However, … Continue reading “The US election – just political noise?”

Looking back at the markets through September

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Rising infection levels knock sentiment Share prices generally fell during September amid concerns over rising infection levels and their potential impact on economic activity. Investors’ worries were compounded by doubts over Brexit negotiations, continuing friction between the US and China over … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through September”

UK recovery loses momentum as Covid-19 effects linger

The latest monthly UK GDP estimate shows the economy returning back to growth on a rolling three-months basis – up 8% compared to a -7.6% contraction in July, which should ensure double digit growth for the third quarter. However, the data also reveals a significant loss in momentum, as monthly growth was down from 6.6% … Continue reading “UK recovery loses momentum as Covid-19 effects linger”

The virus remains difficult to control

Even in the most freedom-loving societies there was widespread buy into controls for the initial lockdowns. Now consent is waning. It’s been another week dominated by pandemic news. Donald Trump’s contentious approach to tackling the disease has been centre stage, with his self-announced triumph over the illness thanks to a couple of drugs that he … Continue reading “The virus remains difficult to control”

Can emerging Europe close the performance gap?

Across the world, we wait in hope and anticipation for a vaccine for Covid-19. Financial markets reflect optimism that one will soon be found, and that the economic recovery will sustain. Investors in emerging Europe will be particularly keen for some form of normalisation to come through. Emerging European equities are down almost -30% in … Continue reading “Can emerging Europe close the performance gap?”

Covid-19 and the Japanese model

The Japanese economy was in recession when the virus struck. GDP fell 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019 and experienced a further small fall in quarter 1 2020. Japan’s decline of 7.9% in the second quarter was a large fall by historic standards but was at the lower end of declines worldwide as economies … Continue reading “Covid-19 and the Japanese model”