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”

UK growth edges higher, but BoE likely to hold

The initial estimate of GDP growth for the final quarter of 2017 showed the economy maintained a sluggish pace of growth of 0.5% quarter-on-quarter. This takes GDP growth for 2017 to 1.8%, which is a fall from 1.9% in 2016, and the lowest annual growth rate since 2012. Slight growth pick-up is encouraging Within the … Continue reading “UK growth edges higher, but BoE likely to hold”

The changing shape of the world economy

Sometimes as an investor it is a good idea to look at the big picture and the long term view. It is easy getting involved in day to day or week by week movements and topical controversies. Much of this is just noise in the system, a temporary high or a short term disappointment. The … Continue reading “The changing shape of the world economy”

UK interest rates rise for the first time in a decade

The Bank of England (BoE) raised UK interest rates for the first time since July 2007. The base rate has increased from 0.25% to 0.5%, but we do not believe this necessarily marks the start of an imminent tightening cycle… Although today’s is first interest rate hike in over a decade, the forward guidance provided … Continue reading “UK interest rates rise for the first time in a decade”

The rise of China’s technology giants

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have rewarded investors’ faith in them. But how have they come to dominate the online economy in China?  When little-known Chinese online gaming and messaging company Tencent decided to list in Hong Kong back in June 2004, its shares were offered at HK$ 3.70 apiece. Fast-forward 13 years to the present … Continue reading “The rise of China’s technology giants”