UK mid-caps – far from middle of the road

No matter what their size, the past few years have been tricky for UK companies. First Brexit, then the Covid-19 pandemic – two headwinds that saw many investors leave the UK equities market for more certain climes. Now though, with an acceptable Brexit conclusion and a potential vaccine-led recovery, we believe UK equities, mid-caps in … Continue reading “UK mid-caps – far from middle of the road”

Which equity sectors can combat higher inflation?

The sharp rise in bond yields over recent weeks has rattled equity markets amid fears that fiscal stimulus and a post-pandemic spending splurge could stoke higher inflation. Five-year inflation expectations, as measured by the yield difference between nominal and inflation-protected US Treasury bonds, have rebounded sharply from their pandemic lows and are now at 2.5% … Continue reading “Which equity sectors can combat higher inflation?”

Steering a course to UK equities for the opportunities ahead

It’s not an easy time to be an investor. 2020 was a rollercoaster year whatever asset class you invested in. Even looking ahead, it’s understandable that investors may be nervous about making any big asset allocation decisions at the moment. However, at times of uncertainty and change, some of the best investment opportunities can reveal … Continue reading “Steering a course to UK equities for the opportunities ahead”

Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive

The big news from the fourth-quarter reporting season is that earnings growth is back. Consensus expectations for were for further contractions in corporate earnings, but instead we’ve seen an expansion – in the US at least. Now that most of S&P 500’s constituents have reported, some 83% have surprised positively – well above the historical … Continue reading “Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive”

How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic

It seems ancient history now, but 2020 opened with a high degree of optimism for Asian markets. True, valuations were no more than reasonable given the share price gains of the previous twelve months, but conditions appeared favourable and there was a widespread consensus on a global economic recovery and a strong year ahead for … Continue reading “How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic”

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”

What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?

This year Chinese New Year ushers in the Year of the Ox, which began on Friday. The Ox is thought to be a symbol of reliability, strength, patience and caution. It is also associated with harvesting, fertility and prosperity. After a tumultuous 2020, many an investor will welcome financial markets that are reliable, strong and … Continue reading “What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?”

Why lockdown winners are not vaccine losers

The past year has brought significant changes to all our lives and sped up the growth of a number of consumer and leisure trends. Online shopping is an obvious example and the same is true for some of the other “lockdown winners”: namely computer games and cook-at-home meal kits. Like online shopping, we think these … Continue reading “Why lockdown winners are not vaccine losers”

Looking back at the markets through December 2020

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Shares advance on vaccine optimism After a tumultuous year in which the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, many major stock markets ended 2020 in positive territory. Investor sentiment was buoyed towards the end of the year by optimism over the prospect … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through December 2020”

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?”