Hunting for income

The bond markets have risen a lot this year, leaving very low yields or negative returns on many bonds. It is true you can still get a better income if you want to take more risk by buying a bond issued by companies that may struggle to repay. There is not so much extra income … Continue reading “Hunting for income”

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?”

The US will be reluctant to go to war with Iran

The media are full of stories of growing tension between Iran and the US. The attack on two tankers in the Gulf understandably moved oil prices up whilst unsettling investors about possible future escalation of hostilities. The US main allies in the region would like to get the USA more involved in their proxy wars … Continue reading “The US will be reluctant to go to war with Iran”

Will a Chinese boycott really hurt the US?

As the US trade war with China accelerates, Beijing is preparing to use one of its most effective weapons – people power. There is likely to be boycotts ahead. The US trade dispute with China escalated this week, after Beijing deployed a powerful weapon in its armoury – people power. The Chinese government warned its … Continue reading “Will a Chinese boycott really hurt the US?”

Something has changed in the Trump administration

Donald Trump has put power back into his tweets. His recent announcements on technology exports and trade have sent markets lower. The tweets are backed by Executive Orders and by follow-up action from the relevant departments of government. It reminds us that something has changed in the Trump administration. The President has found a team … Continue reading “Something has changed in the Trump administration”

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”

The Middle East stirs some old worries

America is intensifying its policy against Iran in the Gulf, and challenging more EU policy over Iran and energy as well as trade. Donald Trump has spent the last week moving markets. His decision to push back hard on China before agreeing a trade deal led to sharp sell offs in the Shanghai market and … Continue reading “The Middle East stirs some old worries”

Trump’s bid to take on the EU could crush the German economy

The EU’s Trade Commissioner held out an olive branch to Donald Trump last week as the bloc tries to prevent tariffs being put on the auto sector – but the move looks likely to fail. An escalating trade dispute between Brussels and Washington now appears inevitable – and Germany will feel most of the pain … Continue reading “Trump’s bid to take on the EU could crush the German economy”

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative a threat to the West?

China’s “New Silk Road” aims to improve trade between Asia and Europe, but the growing influence of Beijing and its tactics around debt have got hawks in Washington worried. They argue that China is using its wealth to buy influence across the world – and are preparing for a decades-long fight for economic supremacy and … Continue reading “Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative a threat to the West?”

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?”

Will France cut taxes in response to protests?

For 21 weeks now, the Gilets Jaunes have taken to the streets of French cities to protest. It began as a demonstration against high and rising fuel taxes. These tax increases hit families getting children to school and the adults to work, and cut the earnings of the self-employed working from their vans and cars. … Continue reading “Will France cut taxes in response to protests?”