Italy’s 66th government since WW2 looks set to fall

Trade continues to dominate the headlines with Donald Trump’s tweets around US tariffs driving sentiment. The emergence of China’s appetite to use its currency as a shock absorber also added volatility. August’s volumes are traditionally lighter and that helped catalyse a very weak start for US equities albeit a lot of the losses had been … Continue reading “Italy’s 66th government since WW2 looks set to fall”

Will the UK economy slip into recession?

Disappointing GDP data shows the UK economy contracted in the second quarter and raises the risk of the country entering a technical recession. The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter, following 0.5% growth at the start of the year. What was behind the data? A sharp drop in manufacturing output (-2.3%) over … Continue reading “Will the UK economy slip into recession?”

Tough times for the UK may force rate cut

The UK economy is struggling to stay above water. Brexit uncertainty has hit confidence, causing many companies to postpone or cancel investment projects. Even households are now cutting back. According to the latest survey from the British Retail Consortium, average sales growth weakened to just 0.6% in the 12 months to June, which is the … Continue reading “Tough times for the UK may force rate cut”

Quantitative easing returns to the European Central Bank

History seems set to repeat itself in Europe. Less than a year after the European Central Bank (ECB) wound up its bond-buying programme, the words ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) are back. ECB President Mario Draghi sent the latest signal about the Bank’s intentions at last month’s Sintra conference for central bankers in Portugal. He made it … Continue reading “Quantitative easing returns to the European Central Bank”

Mr Trump’s torrent of trade tweets

Financial markets are being buffeted by President Trump’s tweets on trade. What are the short and long-term implications of this new style of policy making in the US? Tactical tweeting Since the summer of last year, investors have had to look at Twitter far more often. President Trump has used this form of social media … Continue reading “Mr Trump’s torrent of trade tweets”

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”

Creating a virtuous circle in residential investing

How do we balance effective residential investing with being sensitive to tenants’ needs and to climate change? With the right approach, they can be far more harmonious that you might think. In fact, we would argue that they are intrinsically linked. Using change as a lens We have identified four global forces for change that … Continue reading “Creating a virtuous circle in residential investing”

Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?

The latest developments suggest that trade tensions between the US and China will be more protracted than previously expected. The US recently announced it is raising tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25% from 10%, and China has responded by increasing tariffs on $60 billion of imports from the US. The US … Continue reading “Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?”

Still on our way in May, watching for winners

Investing is a curious mixture of art and science. It is a world of phenomenally fast algorithmic trading, supplemented with old-fashioned sayings and adages concocted decades ago. Behavioural finance studies draw attention to the importance of ‘heuristics’. These are mental shortcuts or rules of thumb that ease the cognitive load in decision-making. The saying “sell … Continue reading “Still on our way in May, watching for winners”

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?”

Why policy reform is the key to China’s demographic challenge

It is well known that China faces an ageing problem. The popular narrative has it that China surged up the growth league tables on the back of its giant population, reaping years of demographic dividends to become the world’s second largest economy. In this narrative, China’s population is now ageing and so the growth story … Continue reading “Why policy reform is the key to China’s demographic challenge”

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?”

Is the UK stuck in Brexit limbo?

The UK has been granted its second extension to the Article 50 deadline, averting a no-deal Brexit that would have happened on 12 April. The UK now has until 31 October to ratify the current Withdrawal Agreement, although there was some disagreement amongst other EU members as to how much longer the UK should be … Continue reading “Is the UK stuck in Brexit limbo?”

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”