The pandemic takes a large toll on Europe

Europe has endured one of the worst experiences of the pandemic worldwide, with high case rates and all too many deaths. By 18 March, the European Union’s official figures showed 24 million cases to date and 577,000 mortalities. All seven of the countries that have recorded more than 1,900 deaths per million from Covid-19 globally … Continue reading “The pandemic takes a large toll on Europe”

Looking back at the markets through February 2021

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.  Global Market Review Concerns grow over inflation Although most major equity indices ended February in positive territory, the month finished on a question-mark. A sharp sell-off across bond markets pushed up bond yields and drove down demand for growth stocks as investors assessed the … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through February 2021”

Looking back at the markets through January 2021

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.  Global Market Review “Unintended consequences” Financial markets are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a sharp correction that would, in turn, jeopardise stability, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF warned that investors’ expectations of continued support from governments and central banks has generated … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through January 2021”

The virus prolongs its economic damage

As President Biden takes office, he highlighted the heavy Covid-19 death toll – now exceeding 400,000 – and the other damage done by the pandemic in the USA. The winter in the Northern hemisphere has not been kind, with a major surge in infections on both sides of the Atlantic. There have now been 96 … Continue reading “The virus prolongs its economic damage”

Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect

In March, governments across the world scrambled to contain COVID-19 by imposing draconian restrictions on activity.  As offices, shops, roads and rails emptied out, vast swathes of the economy were mothballed.  Over the next six months, we witnessed both the sharpest contraction and the fastest rebound on record, driven entirely by governments’ decisions to restrict … Continue reading “Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect”

What a difference a vaccine makes

The announcement that a vaccine might be available before the end of the month that works and is safe changed everything – and nothing.  The optimists in markets decided that the news would be confirmed and get better. They think the vaccine they will complete its trials, it will pass its safety test – and … Continue reading “What a difference a vaccine makes”

Commercial Property Market Review – October 2020

Our monthly property market review is intended to provide background to recent developments in commercial property markets, as well as to give an indication of how some key issues could impact in the future. Google commits to London office space Although the multinational US tech giant has informed its 4,500 staff in the UK they … Continue reading “Commercial Property Market Review – October 2020”

The virus remains difficult to control

Even in the most freedom-loving societies there was widespread buy into controls for the initial lockdowns. Now consent is waning. It’s been another week dominated by pandemic news. Donald Trump’s contentious approach to tackling the disease has been centre stage, with his self-announced triumph over the illness thanks to a couple of drugs that he … Continue reading “The virus remains difficult to control”

The shape of recovery

V, W, U or L? As the bear market continues, we’re looking ahead at the potential shape of economic recovery  – and what each different shape might mean for investors. V is for velocity Given the dramatic rises in stock markets in the past month, many investors may be hoping for a “V” shaped recovery. … Continue reading “The shape of recovery”

Plumbing the depths

Yesterday The Office of Budget Responsibility in the UK tried to update its forecasts for the UK economy. They emerged at the pessimistic end of the current range of estimates but attracted news coverage because of who they are. They anticipate on the scenario they published a fall of 35% in the UK second-quarter GDP, … Continue reading “Plumbing the depths”

How should investors act in a crisis?

With markets reeling from the effects of coronavirus, Schroders’ Group CIO highlights what investors should focus on. Coronavirus is the latest threat to market harmony that once again poses a timeless question: how should investors act in a crisis? Whether you’re a fund manager, responsible for billions of pounds of other people’s money, or an … Continue reading “How should investors act in a crisis?”

Is corporate debt worth the risk?

As bond investors seek a better return than the poor yields on advanced country bonds, they eye up the higher income available on some company debt. There has been a sharp increase in so called levered loans. These are bonds issued by larger companies, often at a floating rate of interest related to official interest … Continue reading “Is corporate debt worth the risk?”

Walking on sunshine

Some key factors that have influenced investment markets in recent weeks are discussed below. A positive month for stockmarket investors. Having seen signs of investor nervousness in June, last month saw investors regain their appetite for risk, and it proved to be a sunny climate (matching the weather) for most global stockmarkets. The overall result … Continue reading “Walking on sunshine”

The US Congress holds the purse strings and wishes to loosen them

In theory the President sets out a budget in February and the Congress responds with a Budget resolution in May. In practice the Congress runs the budget, and has just passed a two year budget deal regardless of the White House proposals that crossed in the post with their decisions. President Trump’s wish to cut … Continue reading “The US Congress holds the purse strings and wishes to loosen them”