Looking back at the markets through June

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Brexit: no further forward   Global market review The third anniversary of the Brexit referendum came and went in June, and still the issue of Brexit remained up in the air. As the clock ticked towards the extended deadline of 31 October, the Conservative … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through June”

Quantitative easing returns to the European Central Bank

History seems set to repeat itself in Europe. Less than a year after the European Central Bank (ECB) wound up its bond-buying programme, the words ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) are back. ECB President Mario Draghi sent the latest signal about the Bank’s intentions at last month’s Sintra conference for central bankers in Portugal. He made it … Continue reading “Quantitative easing returns to the European Central Bank”

Why I’m backing a consumer comeback in Europe

Worries over slowing global growth and rising trade tensions hit European share prices hard at the end of 2018. While early 2019 saw a rally, there remains considerable scepticism over the prospects for the European economy and its listed companies. I think much of this scepticism is misplaced and the role of the European consumer … Continue reading “Why I’m backing a consumer comeback in Europe”

European equities – interesting times

“There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times.” Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 quote sums up what it has been like to be a European equity investor since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. While politicians have … Continue reading “European equities – interesting times”

Mr Trump’s torrent of trade tweets

Financial markets are being buffeted by President Trump’s tweets on trade. What are the short and long-term implications of this new style of policy making in the US? Tactical tweeting Since the summer of last year, investors have had to look at Twitter far more often. President Trump has used this form of social media … Continue reading “Mr Trump’s torrent of trade tweets”

Looking back at the markets through May

Although the US and China had been widely expected to agree a trade deal, US President Donald Trump instead confounded hopes by announcing that tariffs on over US$200 billion-worth of imports from China would increase from 10% to 25%.  In response, China raised tariffs on US$60 billion-worth of US goods. Share prices fell heavily in … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through May”

Will France cut taxes in response to protests?

For 21 weeks now, the Gilets Jaunes have taken to the streets of French cities to protest. It began as a demonstration against high and rising fuel taxes. These tax increases hit families getting children to school and the adults to work, and cut the earnings of the self-employed working from their vans and cars. … Continue reading “Will France cut taxes in response to protests?”

Germany will pay the price for Italy’s provocation of Trump

The Italians have joined China’s controversial “New Silk Road” programme, a move that is likely to stoke the ire of Washington. At the weekend, Italian populists handed Donald Trump yet another reason to turn his trade guns on Europe, increasing the risk of a German recession. At a signing ceremony in Rome, Chinese President Xi … Continue reading “Germany will pay the price for Italy’s provocation of Trump”

Panning for gold in murky waters

In 2018, international investors pulled out more than €50 billion from European equities in response to weakening Eurozone economic data, uncertainty over Brexit and concerns about Italian banks. Today, investors’ positioning in Europe is as underweight as it has been since the Eurozone crisis. It is understandable that investors are wary of a potential economic … Continue reading “Panning for gold in murky waters”

Embracing change in European real estate

Real estate is typically a slow mover in the investment world. It tends not to be affected by the day-to-day rumblings in the equity and bond markets. Nevertheless, change is still afoot in real estate, with both short- and long-term trends affecting how we use properties and how we invest. Real estate is now at … Continue reading “Embracing change in European real estate”

The Brexit deadline looms

The UK ended February with the question of Brexit still unanswered.  The month was dominated by political newsflow as concerns over Brexit were compounded by the resignation of eleven MPs who left the Conservative or Labour parties to form ‘The Independent Group’.  A second ‘meaningful vote’ on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal will take … Continue reading “The Brexit deadline looms”

Car crash in the motor industry?

Last year was not a good year for the world motor industry. Passenger car sales fell by 13% in the USA, by 9% in the UK, by 4% in China, by 3% in France and by 0.2% in Germany. In the USA higher interest rates reduced people’s willingness to take out car loans. In China … Continue reading “Car crash in the motor industry?”

Are investors too pessimistic on European shares?

European equities had a tough 2018 with the benchmark MSCI Europe index falling 10.6% over the year. Trade wars, reduced support from central banks and slower economic growth were among the factors that saw higher risk assets such as equities fall out of favour. Despite the difficult global backdrop, the eurozone economy continued to expand … Continue reading “Are investors too pessimistic on European shares?”

2018: A year to forget

2018 will be a year that many investors would rather forget. A lucky few will still be looking for an overall gain for the year, but the past few months have proved extremely uncomfortable. What have been the highs and lows of the year?  Research by Willis Owen shows that eight sectors delivered a positive … Continue reading “2018: A year to forget”

How the Brexit delay has moved markets – and what it means for the economy

As Theresa May meets European leaders seeking a better Brexit deal, the UK economy heads for a period of heightened uncertainty and stagflation. Markets faced further uncertainty after the Prime Minister Theresa May began a series of European meetings in the hope of securing an improved deal on Brexit. However, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the … Continue reading “How the Brexit delay has moved markets – and what it means for the economy”