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”

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”

A look at equity markets in Japan and China

On a day when Wall Street has reached new all-time highs, there has been some favourable effects on equity markets around the world. The bulls are buying, hoping that there will be some modest trade deal soon between the US and China. Meanwhile, all can enjoy the benefits of low-interest rates and more money available … Continue reading “A look at equity markets in Japan and China”

The impact of US foreign policy on markets

Trade restrictions and tariffs are the main response of the Trump administration to foreign disagreements, but there are some positives too. Donald Trump moves markets. He watches them regularly and tries to influence them by what he says and what he does. He sees a rising US share market as proof that he is making … Continue reading “The impact of US foreign policy on markets”

It really is a digital world

Over the last ten years of recovery from the boom and bust of the western banking crash, shares have performed well. World equities have produced a return of 155% over the decade. The years have been characterised in the advanced world by an unusual combination of low interest rates and low inflation. Cheap imports from … Continue reading “It really is a digital world”

China oil deal with Iran could derail trade talks

Don’t get too excited about the current thaw in the trade war. Despite both sides appearing to talk up the prospects of a deal ahead of talks that resumed in Washington yesterday, there has been a major development that could put any final agreement at risk. Since talks were last held, China has signed a … Continue reading “China oil deal with Iran could derail trade talks”

A cyber-curtain is set to divide the world

A new Cold War looks likely as the US and China increasingly diverge and fall into dispute. What are the implications for investors? The strong exchanges on technology between the US and China point to a world where there are two different systems, with a cyber-curtain descending between them both. Meanwhile, in a series of … Continue reading “A cyber-curtain is set to divide the world”

The other trade war is another tech nightmare

A political dispute between Japan and South Korea is spilling over into trade. Unless it is resolved, the consequences for smartphone makers could be serious. It’s a difficult time for smartphone makers. Shipments of devices are likely to fall for a third consecutive year in 2019, so the introduction of new 5G phones is the … Continue reading “The other trade war is another tech nightmare”

The G7 solves nothing

The meeting of leaders over the weekend in Biarritz led to US President Donald Trump’s tweet suggesting there could be more trade talks with China after all. It was sufficient for a modest rally, after the tariff-induced sell off last week. The markets remain fixated by the twin stories of possible rate cuts to come, … Continue reading “The G7 solves nothing”

There’ll be no swift resolution to this trade war

As Donald Trump threatens to put tariffs on all imports from China and Beijing tells its state-owned organisations to stop importing US agricultural products, the trade war looks set to drag on. At the end of last week’s trade talks between the US and China, there were no signs of a breakthrough. Beijing made a … Continue reading “There’ll be no swift resolution to this trade war”

What are the different styles of investing?

When it comes to share investing there are plenty of theories about what might produce the best returns. There is no single right answer to investing. People’s needs differ. People’s attitudes to risk vary. Market moods swing, making it difficult to be sure which type of investment will do well. All these uncertainties do not … Continue reading “What are the different styles of investing?”

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”

What lies in store for equities?

The first half of 2019 was characterised by the strongest and most broad-based asset price reflation that we have seen since 2009. It is clear that this pace of gains cannot continue through the second half of the year. Bad news has been good news for stock markets for quite some time.  That’s because investors … Continue reading “What lies in store for equities?”