The art of the deal and tax cuts for the US

President Trump promised the USA the art of the deal when he came to office. He conjured a view of a successful businessman cutting a better deal for working America, with a new approach to trade, tax, infrastructure spending and the rest to promote a more prosperous country. Seven months on, some are asking if … Continue reading “The art of the deal and tax cuts for the US”

Euro area prospects

Markets heaved a sigh of relief when the Dutch election failed to give Mr Wilders the government and when Mr Macron swept into the Presidency of France along with a Parliamentary majority. It meant the euro was safe for a bit from parties and candidates who wished to break it up. We have been positive … Continue reading “Euro area prospects”

The Republicans fall out and the dollar weakens

One of the surprises for markets this year has been the weakness of the dollar. Last year, investors built up large speculative positions expecting the dollar to go better. The US was beginning to increase its interest rates and would in due course reduce its stockpile of government bonds held by the Fed. As more … Continue reading “The Republicans fall out and the dollar weakens”

Inflation subsides

A little bit of inflation is fine for share markets. A couple of years ago some investors were very worried that the advanced world was relapsing into deflation. If prices generally start falling, people put off buying things on the reasonable grounds they will be cheaper later. This can trip an economy into recession or … Continue reading “Inflation subsides”

Central banks spark confusion

Investors were clearly rattled by the mixed messages emanating from central banks in June, which sparked a sell-off in government bonds. The Federal Reserve at least has been fairly clear about its direction of travel. It has struck a more hawkish rhetoric recently, as policy makers become increasingly confident on the outlook for the US … Continue reading “Central banks spark confusion”

Merkel’s world collides with Trump

The G20 meeting this week in Hamburg should be just another review meeting by the 19 largest economies and the EU.  The Agenda is full of long term ambitions and intractable problems, from climate change to gender equality, from financial stability to managing refugees.  You can read the background papers as worthy long term statements … Continue reading “Merkel’s world collides with Trump”

Why the oil price is now in a bear market

The price of crude has slipped into bear market territory this week, despite Opec’s attempt to boost the price ahead of the flotation of Saudi Aramco. What caused it – and will it reverse anytime soon? Crude oil prices are once again in a tailspin, on concerns that the global glut of oil is not … Continue reading “Why the oil price is now in a bear market”

What is normal for the Fed?

As expected, the US Central Bank has raised interest rates to 1.25% and talked about normalising its policy. The statement included detailed guidance on what the Federal Reserve intends to do next. During the financial crash and its aftermath the Fed bought up large quantities of Treasury bonds and mortgage backed securities, forcing interest rates … Continue reading “What is normal for the Fed?”

Could the election hit your portfolio?

Theresa May is likely to increase her majority in today’s general election, although some outlier polls have suggested a hung parliament is a possibility. Here’s what could happen to markets. Charles Stanley is neutral regarding the outcome of the today’s campaign, but the polling and the commentary about the vote suggests a Conservative win with … Continue reading “Could the election hit your portfolio?”

A pleasant surprise from President Trump

It’s fashionable to write off President Trump. His healthcare reform has been slowed by strong opposition, his tax reform has been delayed, and now he is being investigated over his links with Russia and the removal of the FBI Head from office. The market has wobbled over these difficulties. Meanwhile President Trump has turned his … Continue reading “A pleasant surprise from President Trump”

Why we are still optimistic

When we sat down this week to review world markets and world economies the surprising thing was how few surprises there have been so far this year. We expected the euro to survive its brushes with mortality in the Dutch and French elections. It has done so. We like many have forecast reasonable growth of … Continue reading “Why we are still optimistic”

Can reform make a difference to India?

The Indian economy is growing well, and the stock market has rallied with the emerging markets generally this year. Prime Minister Modi has been popular with many voters and with the international business community since first taking up the office. He has talked up his view that India needs to reform to accelerate its growth rate. … Continue reading “Can reform make a difference to India?”

Can Japan’s reforms change the game?

Two economies are associated in investors’ minds with the need for reform. In Japan, Mr Abe is well entrenched with a big majority behind his “three arrows” reforms. Designed to accelerate Japanese growth, the third arrow offered substantial changes to the way Japanese society functions and the way Japanese companies work. In India, many in … Continue reading “Can Japan’s reforms change the game?”

Why a pension could be better than a Lifetime ISA

There’s a new savings option available this tax year – the Lifetime ISA – aiming to help anyone aged 18 to 39 save for a deposit on a house, or for later in life, or both. It promises to be a useful product, but pensions remain the primary means for investing towards retirement.    What … Continue reading “Why a pension could be better than a Lifetime ISA”