Markets can get too exuberant

The recent all-time highs in the S&P 500 this week mean it has now hit more records this year than it did in 2018. There may even be more to come. However, it was at this time last year that an equity market sell-off gathered steam, with the usual “Santa Claus” rally failing to materialise. … Continue reading “Markets can get too exuberant”

Are we witnessing the US dollar’s fall from grace?

A world in which money is scarce might appear to be a far-fetched idea. But for US banks in the business of taking deposits and making loans, this has become a reality. The chart below shows a global shortage of US dollars has emerged, shown in the left hand vertical axis in  billions. It has … Continue reading “Are we witnessing the US dollar’s fall from grace?”

How far will the monetary boost go?

The world’s central banks are keen to boost economies. Many are using the scope of falling US interest rates to do something similar themselves. Some are worried about the lack of money in the markets and are taking action to boost liquidity. Some are concerned about a low rate of new borrowing reflecting poor rates … Continue reading “How far will the monetary boost go?”

Muddling through with low interest rates

Central bank action has supported markets this year but we need to see a recovery in corporate earnings. The world should escape a general recession this winter. The forecast manufacturing downturn has occurred, led by falls in vehicle output. Individual countries have flirted with recession. Italy was in a shallow recession last year, and German … Continue reading “Muddling through with low interest rates”

The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar

Adaptation is necessary when an environment becomes less favourable. So, as the global outlook assumes a gloomier cast, we believe investors should look beyond the comfort of conventional asset classes and bolster their portfolios with less familiar – and less correlated – assets. Secular stagnation? Recent headlines provide no shortage of alarming developments: a lurch … Continue reading “The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar”

Looking back at the markets through September

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review What next for Brexit? The long-running Brexit saga took a new twist in September as the clock continued to tick towards its Hallowe’en deadline. After being suspended earlier in the month, the UK Parliament was hastily reconvened towards the end of … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through September”

A balanced view: Investors wake up to fundamentals

While markets of late have been dominated by positive returns across all asset class, 3 factors drove Equities down in August: US corporate reporting season highlighted the deteriorating health of the underlying business, provided an earnings recession. Trade wars continue to run – the longer they do, the more lasting and permanent the drag on … Continue reading “A balanced view: Investors wake up to fundamentals”

Markets learn to live with some protectionism

On Monday 15th July, President Trump lent the White House lawn to US manufacturers to celebrate the ability of the US to make things for itself. He explained that it is a win-win situation if the US buys products made just down the road, with more and better-paid jobs resulting from the purchases. He signed … Continue reading “Markets learn to live with some protectionism”

Why the world economy is like a wobbly bike

The world economy increasingly resembles an unstable bicycle that can be tipped over by the slightest bump in the road. Three months ago we said “the easing in US-China trade tensions, more flexible central banks and the benefits of lower oil prices should stabilise activity later this year and support an upgrade in our global … Continue reading “Why the world economy is like a wobbly bike”

Whatever it takes…to raise inflation

The European Central Bank has consistently failed to meet its inflation target in the seven years since the region’s sovereign debt crisis. Nor has the market any faith that it might do so in future. With the European Union (EU) elections out of the way, the horse-trading over a host of top EU jobs will … Continue reading “Whatever it takes…to raise inflation”

Waiting for a new interest rate policy

The Federal Reserve Board is re-thinking its whole approach to setting interest rates and controlling credit and money. Its bruising encounters with a falling stock market and an angry President in the final quarter of 2018 left it at a loss to explain why it needed to take action to ease monetary conditions. It had … Continue reading “Waiting for a new interest rate policy”

Japan gets into party mood – how will markets respond?

Japan had been fighting deflation for years since the great crash of its banks and property market thirty years ago. An ageing population saves a lot. Population numbers are falling so GDP will not grow as quickly as in places like the US and UK where migration adds to the numbers. Companies are worried about … Continue reading “Japan gets into party mood – how will markets respond?”

Why Emerging Market Debt’s positive start to 2019 can continue

After a challenging 2018 in which emerging market debt (EMD) logged negative total returns, 2019 has begun with an eye-catching recovery. In the case of EMD sovereigns, all the losses of 2018 were erased by January 2019, and most EMD asset classes have added to or held onto their gains since then. So what next? … Continue reading “Why Emerging Market Debt’s positive start to 2019 can continue”

You still struggle to get an income on safer investments

The difficulties in getting a good return from Western nation bonds. The great crash of 2008-9 has left interest rates in much of the advanced world at very low levels. The fitful and slow recovery this decade has meant central banks have needed to keep rates low. Japan had a similar, if even more dramatic, … Continue reading “You still struggle to get an income on safer investments”