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”

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Investment sentiment continued to be dominated by political noise over the past month, with the French Presidential Election and Theresa May’s calling of a snap UK General Election taking over the front-page headlines from Trump and Brexit. The overall effect of the news-flow proved positive for global stockmarkets and the MSCI World index increased by … Continue reading “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”

Trump’s first 100 days: how markets have performed

Is the “Trump bump” over? The surge in the stockmarket, the dollar and bond yields that welcomed Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House has shown signs of flagging as his first 100 days approaches. Donald Trump sailed into the White House on a wave of populist, pro-trade polices. He promised to spend big, create … Continue reading “Trump’s first 100 days: how markets have performed”

Foreign exchange: a major contributor to portfolio returns

In recent years, subdued global inflation and weak growth have allowed the world’s major central banks to keep monetary policy at extremely accommodative levels. However, this may be changing, as global growth and inflation forecasts have risen amid a shift towards fiscal stimulus in a number of developed economies. With the Federal Reserve (Fed) simultaneously … Continue reading “Foreign exchange: a major contributor to portfolio returns”

Japan traps to avoid in 2017

Discerning equity investors who focus on quality companies not temporary tailwinds can find pockets of growth in Japan the coming year. In the month since Donald Trump’s election upset, Japan’s Topix climbed 17% in US dollar terms. Almost half of this performance came from a resurgent dollar. Given the close historical correlation between Japan’s stock … Continue reading “Japan traps to avoid in 2017”

Will 2017 be as good as 2016?

It is unlikely 2017 will offer as clement an investment climate as 2016, but the outlook is still upbeat. As the New Year dawns, investment managers have some sense of relief if they can report decent positive returns for the year just ended. 2016 was generally a good year for UK investors. UK bonds produced … Continue reading “Will 2017 be as good as 2016?”

Market predictions for 2017

After a turbulent and unpredictable 2016, Charles Stanley’s Chief Investment Officer Jon Cunliffe takes a look at what could be in store for global markets in the year ahead. If there is one lesson to learn from 2016, it is to expect the unexpected. Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the election win … Continue reading “Market predictions for 2017”

A chance to bond with China?

Around $155 billion could start flowing into China’s local-currency bond market in the coming year if renminbi-denominated debt is added to influential bond indices as a reward for recent efforts to grant greater access to foreign investors. Over the past year, officials have expanded the types of foreign investors who can invest in the so-called … Continue reading “A chance to bond with China?”

Will the UK consumer keep spending?

There have been alarms put round that the UK will witness a big squeeze on real incomes, leading to a reduction in consumer demand. The argument goes that the devaluation of the pound will cause substantial price increase, which will eat into wage increases and cause a fall in real incomes and spending power. The … Continue reading “Will the UK consumer keep spending?”

A weak yen boosts Japanese equity markets

Equity markets across Asia generally declined during October, dampened by uncertainties over the outcome of November’s US Presidential election and a drop in the price of oil. In comparison, Japanese equity markets rose relatively strongly during October, boosted by a weakening in the value of the yen. The Nikkei 225 Index rose by 6.1%, while … Continue reading “A weak yen boosts Japanese equity markets”

Sterling remained under pressure in October

Sterling remained under pressure in October amid ongoing nervousness about the UK’s Brexit strategy. The pound reached its lowest level against the US dollar for thirty years and its lowest level against the euro since 2011. During the month, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that she intends to invoke Article 50 and start the process … Continue reading “Sterling remained under pressure in October”

Sterling work…

With sterling having just plunged to a 31-year low against the US dollar, it’s interesting to note some of the similarities between the UK now and back in 1985. We had a female prime minister at the helm (Margaret Thatcher), while rival political factions vied to take control of the UK’s Labour Party (Neil Kinnock … Continue reading “Sterling work…”

China’s Black Monday – one year on

This week marks the anniversary of last year’s stock market crash that some have dubbed China’s Black Monday. Shanghai shares fell 8.5% on August 24, triggering losses on exchanges around the world and causing mayhem in currency and commodity markets. Apart from the financial losses, the market meltdown damaged the reputation of China’s policymakers. The … Continue reading “China’s Black Monday – one year on”