Will the UK economy slip into recession?

Disappointing GDP data shows the UK economy contracted in the second quarter and raises the risk of the country entering a technical recession. The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter, following 0.5% growth at the start of the year. What was behind the data? A sharp drop in manufacturing output (-2.3%) over … Continue reading “Will the UK economy slip into recession?”

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…”

Boris Johnson: the challenges faced by the new UK PM

Boris Johnson has won the Conservative Party leadership contest to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London beat Jeremy Hunt, the current Foreign Secretary by a wide margin: 66% to 34% of the votes. From the outset, Johnson must navigate a deeply divided party, and a shrinking majority … Continue reading “Boris Johnson: the challenges faced by the new UK PM”

Unwise to chase the rally in European equities

Although the eurozone economy is struggling, European assets have performed strongly in recent weeks as policymakers at the European Central Bank (ECB) have made it clear that they are ready to implement another round of monetary stimulus. Nevertheless, we remain pessimistic about the eurozone economy’s prospects and sceptical of the ECB’s ability to stimulate growth. … Continue reading “Unwise to chase the rally in European equities”

Looking back at the markets through June

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Brexit: no further forward   Global market review The third anniversary of the Brexit referendum came and went in June, and still the issue of Brexit remained up in the air. As the clock ticked towards the extended deadline of 31 October, the Conservative … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through June”

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”

European equities – interesting times

“There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times.” Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 quote sums up what it has been like to be a European equity investor since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. While politicians have … Continue reading “European equities – interesting times”

Looking back at the markets through May

Although the US and China had been widely expected to agree a trade deal, US President Donald Trump instead confounded hopes by announcing that tariffs on over US$200 billion-worth of imports from China would increase from 10% to 25%.  In response, China raised tariffs on US$60 billion-worth of US goods. Share prices fell heavily in … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through May”

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”

Three reasons why the UK stock market looks compelling

Whatever the opposite of a sweet spot is, many investors think UK equities are currently in one. With Brexit still unresolved, some have put the market in the “too difficult” basket. While it is understandable to fear uncertainty, as stock pickers we embrace the mis-priced opportunities created by it. The global nature of the market … Continue reading “Three reasons why the UK stock market looks compelling”

Panning for gold in murky waters

In 2018, international investors pulled out more than €50 billion from European equities in response to weakening Eurozone economic data, uncertainty over Brexit and concerns about Italian banks. Today, investors’ positioning in Europe is as underweight as it has been since the Eurozone crisis. It is understandable that investors are wary of a potential economic … Continue reading “Panning for gold in murky waters”

Brexit plan B looks like plan A as prime minister rules out delay

The government risks losing control to parliament but probability of no deal remains as high as ever.  Having survived a vote of no confidence, Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to update the House of Commons on the government’s “plan B” for Brexit. In her statement, May promised to work with members of parliament (MPs) … Continue reading “Brexit plan B looks like plan A as prime minister rules out delay”

2018: A year to forget

2018 will be a year that many investors would rather forget. A lucky few will still be looking for an overall gain for the year, but the past few months have proved extremely uncomfortable. What have been the highs and lows of the year?  Research by Willis Owen shows that eight sectors delivered a positive … Continue reading “2018: A year to forget”

How the Brexit delay has moved markets – and what it means for the economy

As Theresa May meets European leaders seeking a better Brexit deal, the UK economy heads for a period of heightened uncertainty and stagflation. Markets faced further uncertainty after the Prime Minister Theresa May began a series of European meetings in the hope of securing an improved deal on Brexit. However, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the … Continue reading “How the Brexit delay has moved markets – and what it means for the economy”