How China is positioning for slower growth

The Chinese authorities seem to have acknowledged that lower growth will be inevitable. We look at how they have increased their room for manoeuvre economically and politically. The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, met from 5th to 20th March. This conference traditionally provides the senior leadership group with the opportunity to set policy … Continue reading “How China is positioning for slower growth”

Trump’s tariffs

Last week, the White House announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum of 25% and 10% respectively – a move that sparked global indignation and threats of a trade war. But tariffs are more common than you may imagine. Almost every US president since Ronald Reagan has announced a tariff of one kind or another. … Continue reading “Trump’s tariffs”

Forces of nature: the emerging solar and wind revolution

In north-western China’s arid Tengger desert lies a spectacular city. Not one of buildings but solar panels, and millions of them. This “Great Wall of Solar” covers 1,200km2 – only 100km2 less than Los Angeles. It is the latest development in China’s aspiration to be the world’s leader in solar power. The renewables revolution is … Continue reading “Forces of nature: the emerging solar and wind revolution”

What has driven stockmarket returns and what will drive them in future?

While the equity markets of various countries and regions have performed very similarly over the past three years, the components of returns have been very different. When we look back over the past three years, investors have earned remarkably similar returns in local currency terms in very different parts of the world. UK, eurozone, Japanese … Continue reading “What has driven stockmarket returns and what will drive them in future?”

Xi who must be obeyed

Xi Jinping has become the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Time will tell whether this is a good or bad thing for the economy. Chinese leaders gathered last week for the 19th Party Congress, a five-yearly plenum that sees the leadership of the Communist Party reshuffled, and economic and policy priorities outlined. Three … Continue reading “Xi who must be obeyed”

Nobody puts sterling in the corner

The story for September remains mundanely similar as for much of the year. Global political noise is barely being acknowledged by capital markets; central banks attempt to signal the way higher for rates without spooking the market; the global economy continues to bump along. Despite an increasingly aggressive stance from North Korea, a destructive hurricane … Continue reading “Nobody puts sterling in the corner”

Supercharged: the car industry in a post-oil world

Governments around the world, barring a handful of exceptions, are seeking to limit the effects of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels. Earlier this year, some 200 countries signed the Paris Agreement, which commits them to help curtail global temperature rises. Part of the solution lies in promoting fuels that produce less of the … Continue reading “Supercharged: the car industry in a post-oil world”

Is China’s tech boom worth investing in?

China’s statistics are often larger-than-life but the numbers relating to mobile phone ownership and money spent online are truly staggering. As of the end of last year, more than half the population – some 731 million people – were online. That’s almost all the people in Europe. Some 95% access the internet via mobile devices. … Continue reading “Is China’s tech boom worth investing in?”

How will central bank tightening affect emerging market bonds?

Investors are worried; they’re hearing noises from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank about reducing balance sheets and hiking rates. They are wondering whether that will have an impact on emerging markets and on Asian bonds. In the past, they’ve been right to worry. Generally, when central banks start tightening, it does … Continue reading “How will central bank tightening affect emerging market bonds?”

Chinese growth beats forecasts but looks set to slow

Chinese growth once again surpassed expectations in the second quarter, growing 6.9% year-on-year (y/y), unchanged from the first quarter. This should ease fears over the ongoing credit tightening in China, though we still expect a growth impact to come through in the second half of this year. Manufacturing growth accelerates A key contributor to the … Continue reading “Chinese growth beats forecasts but looks set to slow”

Global liquidity and emerging markets

Emerging markets have benefited from an extremely accommodative environment but global liquidity conditions are becoming less easy than they used to be. Today we find ourselves in a world where central banks are reviewing their unconventional stimulus measures. The European Central Bank (ECB) is discussing tapering quantitative easing (QE) while the Federal Reserve (Fed) is … Continue reading “Global liquidity and emerging markets”

Why Trump makes the case for emerging markets

Donald Trump’s first weeks as US president are turning out to be just as controversial as his bruising election campaign. A flurry of executive orders on border controls, trade and healthcare has dominated headlines, causing dismay and galvanising opposition. The drama unfolding on a daily basis makes the modest comeback that developing markets have been … Continue reading “Why Trump makes the case for emerging markets”

What happens when rates go up?

A look at the implications of rising interest rates in the US. The US Federal Reserve has begun the painstaking process of raising interest rates, up to 0.5% to 0.75% in December, and has signalled 2017 will contain more of the same. We believe that strong fundamentals support the idea that the US stands to … Continue reading “What happens when rates go up?”

Weak data prompts aggressive Brazilian central bank cut

Preceded by lower-than-expected inflation earlier in the day, the decision by the Brazilian central bank to cut interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) instead of the 50 bps forecast was a surprise that had been a while in the making. Weak data Activity has been consistently weaker than both the market and central bank … Continue reading “Weak data prompts aggressive Brazilian central bank cut”

Going global – and back again

Every year has its upsets, but 2016 seems to have thrown up more than most. With the Brexit referendum, with the election of US President Trump, and with the continued rise of insurgent populist movements elsewhere in the developed world, it feels as though we are heading for an economic and political crunch point. As … Continue reading “Going global – and back again”