Surprises in European equities

Why have European equities performed so well in 2019 and what are the prospects for 2020? For much of 2019, European equities were an unloved asset class, shunned by investors. At first sight, this was understandable – the region is growing only slowly, wracked by political tensions and wrestling with headwinds in vital sectors such as … Continue reading “Surprises in European equities”

The biggest victim of US tariffs in 2020 could be the EU

The tariff battle between Washington and Beijing is far from over, but the biggest battle for US trade hawks over the next 12 months is likely to be with Europe. The global trade slowdown has already hit the European economy hard. Brussels has been forced to cut its growth forecasts for the eurozone to its … Continue reading “The biggest victim of US tariffs in 2020 could be the EU”

UK election: what does the result mean for the economy and investors?

Boris Johnson has been confirmed as prime minister after the Conservative party made sweeping gains. The Conservative majority government has three key implications for Brexit, which is the most pressing issue for the UK economy. First, it all but guarantees that the UK will leave the European Union (EU). This election was the last barrier … Continue reading “UK election: what does the result mean for the economy and investors?”

Looking back at the markets through October

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Election fever October saw the UK plunge into election fever as progress on Brexit once again ground to a halt. Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to reach a new Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the EU , he failed to win … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through October”

UK economy rebounds to avoid recession

Unless the economy improves and a smooth Brexit is achieved, interest rates may be lowered.  The first release of UK GDP for the third quarter shows the economy avoided a technical recession. Real GDP growth was 0.3% quarter-on-quarter compared to -0.2% in the second quarter, although the latest figure did disappoint consensus expectations of 0.4%. … Continue reading “UK economy rebounds to avoid recession”

Investors must get used to an environment of lower growth

We will have to get used to an environment of lower growth. However, this is the kind of environment in which active managers will truly prove their worth. “Nobody buys a farm based on whether they think it’s going to rain next year. They buy it because they think it’s a good investment over 10 … Continue reading “Investors must get used to an environment of lower growth”

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”

Bank of England takes dovish turn, but for how long?

The Bank of England (BoE) left interest rates at 0.75% as expected. However, there was a surprise as two members of the monetary policy committee voted to cut rates. The more dovish1 vote (7-2 rather than the widely expected 9-0) came alongside a downgrade to the bank’s global growth assumptions. Weaker UK growth is also … Continue reading “Bank of England takes dovish turn, but for how long?”

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”

Smooth Brexit could be on cards as election looms

A smooth Brexit could remove some of the fog of uncertainty over the UK economic outlook, a prospect made more likely by the agreement to extend the deadline to 31 January 2020. EU President, Donald Tusk, has announced that the EU has agreed in principle an extension to the Brexit deadline to 31 January 2020. … Continue reading “Smooth Brexit could be on cards as election looms”

The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar

Adaptation is necessary when an environment becomes less favourable. So, as the global outlook assumes a gloomier cast, we believe investors should look beyond the comfort of conventional asset classes and bolster their portfolios with less familiar – and less correlated – assets. Secular stagnation? Recent headlines provide no shortage of alarming developments: a lurch … Continue reading “The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar”

Looking back at the markets through September

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review What next for Brexit? The long-running Brexit saga took a new twist in September as the clock continued to tick towards its Hallowe’en deadline. After being suspended earlier in the month, the UK Parliament was hastily reconvened towards the end of … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through September”

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”

Jaw-jaw at Jackson Hole: Fed exercise to restore lost credibility could end up harming it further

This month’s Jackson Hole symposium is intended to address the ‘challenges for monetary policy’. In reality, the debate will probably be around the merits or otherwise of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continuing to cut interest rates or not. The Fed finds itself at a taxing junction. It needs to reassure investors that it has … Continue reading “Jaw-jaw at Jackson Hole: Fed exercise to restore lost credibility could end up harming it further”

Brexit – opportunity in uncertainty?

The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October. Under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit – once viewed by many as unthinkable – is now a real possibility.  The questions are: what might be the fallout if the UK crashed out of the EU? And what would … Continue reading “Brexit – opportunity in uncertainty?”