Looking back at the markets through August

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Parliament’s suspension creates controversy The prospect of a no-deal Brexit crept closer during August as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Parliament would be suspended shortly after MPs return from their summer break until the Queen’s Speech on 14 October. The … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through August”

Illiquidity isn’t a dirty word…

In the past month, tales of unexpected illiquidity have hit the headlines, and investors are understandably concerned. With Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, declaring investment funds have been “built on a lie”, and the media revealing that the FCA was aware of breaches at the now suspended Woodford fund for over a … Continue reading “Illiquidity isn’t a dirty word…”

Tough times for the UK may force rate cut

The UK economy is struggling to stay above water. Brexit uncertainty has hit confidence, causing many companies to postpone or cancel investment projects. Even households are now cutting back. According to the latest survey from the British Retail Consortium, average sales growth weakened to just 0.6% in the 12 months to June, which is the … Continue reading “Tough times for the UK may force rate cut”

May resignation raises UK recession risk

Prime Minister Theresa May has now announced her resignation, stepping down on 7 June. This will trigger a Conservative Party leadership contest, the winner of which would also become prime minister. May’s resignation follows the end of Brexit talks with the opposition Labour Party, which officially concluded without agreement. At this stage, bookmakers have the … Continue reading “May resignation raises UK recession risk”

Why a pick-up in UK growth may prove deceptive

Recent economic data from the UK has improved but signs are that this is due to stockpiling ahead of worries over potential Brexit disruption. Brexit continues to dominate news and politics in the UK. Even lowly economists pray for a break from the mundane gridlock and circular arguments. Now that the Brexit deadline has been … Continue reading “Why a pick-up in UK growth may prove deceptive”

Is the UK stuck in Brexit limbo?

The UK has been granted its second extension to the Article 50 deadline, averting a no-deal Brexit that would have happened on 12 April. The UK now has until 31 October to ratify the current Withdrawal Agreement, although there was some disagreement amongst other EU members as to how much longer the UK should be … Continue reading “Is the UK stuck in Brexit limbo?”

Brexit risk fails to deter BoE from rate hike

The Bank of England (BoE) has raised its main policy interest rate from 0.50% to 0.75% – its highest level since March 2009 and the first hike above the post-financial crisis level. The Bank backed away from raising rates in February owing to a significant slowdown in growth. However, data on retail sales and production … Continue reading “Brexit risk fails to deter BoE from rate hike”

A spot of turbulence

Global markets hit a rough patch in early February. Equity markets sold off, commodities softened, credit spreads widened and capital flowed out of emerging markets as volatility bounced back sharply. There have been a range of explanations offered for this dislocation, from jitters over rising inflation to concerns that rising term premia could snuff out … Continue reading “A spot of turbulence”

What does a normal interest rate look like?

Markets have been worried that interest rates in the west are heading back to normal in a hurry. If rates go too high too soon they could damage the recovery and do more harm to shares. As the West agonises over the pace of putting up interest rates and winding down special monetary measures, the … Continue reading “What does a normal interest rate look like?”

UK interest rate rises to be earlier and greater than expected

Latest comments from the Bank of England (BoE) and its governor Mark Carney indicate that UK interest rates are likely to go up sooner and faster than previously expected.  UK policymakers’ concerns about inflation have prompted Schroders’ economists to bring forward to November their expectations of a rise in interest rates. Schroders’ Senior European Economist … Continue reading “UK interest rate rises to be earlier and greater than expected”

UK growth edges higher, but BoE likely to hold

The initial estimate of GDP growth for the final quarter of 2017 showed the economy maintained a sluggish pace of growth of 0.5% quarter-on-quarter. This takes GDP growth for 2017 to 1.8%, which is a fall from 1.9% in 2016, and the lowest annual growth rate since 2012. Slight growth pick-up is encouraging Within the … Continue reading “UK growth edges higher, but BoE likely to hold”

UK inflation breaches the BoE’s upper target

Higher food and energy prices have put further pressure on households ahead of the festive period. UK annual consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 3.1% in November – its highest rate since March 2012 and, more significantly, breaching the Bank of England’s upper target of 3%. The latest figures were higher than consensus expectations … Continue reading “UK inflation breaches the BoE’s upper target”

Should the Bank of England raise rates?

The Governor has warned us that a rate rise could happen soon. Markets have duly priced in an increase. The pound rallied strongly against the dollar, partly on that interest rate expectation. UK ten year rates and other longer term bond yields have adjusted upwards. The problem is that the economy is slowing. Treasury policy … Continue reading “Should the Bank of England raise rates?”

UK GDP growth remains sluggish

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the UK economy saw a small pick-up in GDP growth, but the overall environment remains sluggish. The preliminary estimate shows second quarter GDP growth at 0.3% compared to 0.2% in the first quarter, and matching consensus expectations. To put the recent growth figures into context, the … Continue reading “UK GDP growth remains sluggish”

Consumers under pressure as UK inflation continues to rise

More bad news for UK households. The annual rate of consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose from 2.3% in March to 2.7% in April – higher than consensus estimates of 2.6%. Meanwhile, the retail price index (RPI) measure of inflation jumped from 3.1% to 3.5% over the same period, also slightly higher than consensus expectations. … Continue reading “Consumers under pressure as UK inflation continues to rise”