Volatile markets reflect fears of reality

Many refer to the growing gap between the reality of Covid-19-torn economies and equity markets. Battered businesses trying to adapt to social distancing and closures struggle to generate profits, to meet rent bills – or pay dividends. At the same time, major equity indices hit new highs. Most of us run with the wind, which … Continue reading “Volatile markets reflect fears of reality”

Are investors adjusting to the new normal?

Potential for recovery following Covid-19 and trends which have accelerated as a result of it give many reasons for optimism heading into 2021. The list of reasons for investor uncertainty heading into 2021 remains long. A global pandemic. Lockdowns. Volatile markets. Political turbulence. Uncertainty over jobs and the economy. Record levels of government borrowing – … Continue reading “Are investors adjusting to the new normal?”

How the 2020 global share slump and recovery ranks in history

Stocks saw a record crash followed by a record rebound in 2020, creating some disparity between markets. The global stock market crashed at a record speed in early 2020 (Figure 1). On its way to a total decline of 34%, it clocked up a 30% loss in just 40 trading days. This is faster than … Continue reading “How the 2020 global share slump and recovery ranks in history”

Three reasons why I’m optimistic on Japanese equities

Investors are overlooking a number of structural shifts that could help improve returns in Japan. When Japan has hit the headlines this year, it’s largely been for short-term factors. A change of prime minster, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and a relatively successful handling of the Covid-19 crisis are all noteworthy. But there’s a … Continue reading “Three reasons why I’m optimistic on Japanese equities”

ESG investing more important than ever

Many investors are interested in the impact of their investments on the world around them, as well as in the financial performance of the companies in which they invest. Next year, the investment industry in the European Union (EU) will be under a regulatory requirement to take Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters into account … Continue reading “ESG investing more important than ever”

Can emerging Europe close the performance gap?

Across the world, we wait in hope and anticipation for a vaccine for Covid-19. Financial markets reflect optimism that one will soon be found, and that the economic recovery will sustain. Investors in emerging Europe will be particularly keen for some form of normalisation to come through. Emerging European equities are down almost -30% in … Continue reading “Can emerging Europe close the performance gap?”

Will decarbonisation be the mega-trend of the next decade?

US equities have led global stock markets higher over the past decade. In the last ten years, US equities have returned a stellar 292%, compared to just 73% for global equities (as measured by the MSCI USA Index and MSCI AC World ex US Index respectively, in US dollar terms, as at 31 August 2020). … Continue reading “Will decarbonisation be the mega-trend of the next decade?”

Looking back at the markets through August

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review   Share price rises defy an uncertain outlook Global share prices generally rose during August as investors took heart from ongoing fiscal and monetary support alongside some encouraging economic data. Nevertheless, the global economic outlook remains “highly uncertain”, according to the World … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through August”

Has “Eat Out to Help Out” saved the UK hospitality sector?

The UK’s hospitality industry began to emerge from lockdown on 4 July when pubs, restaurants and cafes in England were allowed to re-open. Their Scottish counterparts followed from mid-July. The end of lockdown didn’t mean an end to the challenges facing the sector, with social distancing rules limiting capacity and customers wary of venturing to … Continue reading “Has “Eat Out to Help Out” saved the UK hospitality sector?”

Looking back at the markets through July

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review  The other “R” number … Recession Early in July, investors were buoyed by news of progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines. However, as the month continued, optimism was tempered by a surge in infection rates in countries including the US, … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through July”

What could a Biden presidency mean for climate change investing?

Joe Biden in the White House, and potentially Democrats in control of the Senate too, could turbo-charge climate change as an investment theme. The US response to Covid-19 looks set to be the dominant election issue as we head towards the November polls. Myriad other issues also compete for voters’ attention, and climate change often … Continue reading “What could a Biden presidency mean for climate change investing?”

The performance of world markets in the pandemic

Equity-market performance around the world has diverged in response to government stimulus measures and those exposed to the digital revolution. At the end of July, the S&P 500 index of larger US company shares pushed ahead of its starting level this year. Nasdaq powered on, forming more new highs. It has now delivered a 22% … Continue reading “The performance of world markets in the pandemic”

Investors expect even higher returns from the stock market in years ahead – despite coronavirus shock

Savers predict annual returns of 10.9% from their stock market investments, even as Covid-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession. Investors continue to hope for double-digit yearly total returns from their portfolios, despite the huge blow inflicted on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to … Continue reading “Investors expect even higher returns from the stock market in years ahead – despite coronavirus shock”

The uncomfortable truth about climate change and investment returns

Investors can no longer ignore climate change. Long gone are the days of debating whether it even exists; climate change is here and it’s going to have a major impact on the way we live. It’s also already having a major impact on how we invest. That’s why by the end of 2020 we will … Continue reading “The uncomfortable truth about climate change and investment returns”

How smart manufacturing could lead to an industrial renaissance

The history of industry is one of constant innovation. The industrial revolution that began in the late 1700s was enabled by the advent of water and steam power. This allowed the start of mechanical production. Then, electric power and assembly lines heralded the era of mass production in the early 20th century. The late 20th … Continue reading “How smart manufacturing could lead to an industrial renaissance”