Looking back at the markets through July

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.   Global market review Possibility of “no deal” moves closer Boris Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt during July to become the new leader of the Conservative Party and the UK’s new Prime Minister. The new Government’s harder-line approach to Brexit – and the increased prospect … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through July”

Italy’s 66th government since WW2 looks set to fall

Trade continues to dominate the headlines with Donald Trump’s tweets around US tariffs driving sentiment. The emergence of China’s appetite to use its currency as a shock absorber also added volatility. August’s volumes are traditionally lighter and that helped catalyse a very weak start for US equities albeit a lot of the losses had been … Continue reading “Italy’s 66th government since WW2 looks set to fall”

Boris Johnson: the challenges faced by the new UK PM

Boris Johnson has won the Conservative Party leadership contest to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London beat Jeremy Hunt, the current Foreign Secretary by a wide margin: 66% to 34% of the votes. From the outset, Johnson must navigate a deeply divided party, and a shrinking majority … Continue reading “Boris Johnson: the challenges faced by the new UK PM”

What lies in store for equities?

The first half of 2019 was characterised by the strongest and most broad-based asset price reflation that we have seen since 2009. It is clear that this pace of gains cannot continue through the second half of the year. Bad news has been good news for stock markets for quite some time.  That’s because investors … Continue reading “What lies in store for equities?”

Unwise to chase the rally in European equities

Although the eurozone economy is struggling, European assets have performed strongly in recent weeks as policymakers at the European Central Bank (ECB) have made it clear that they are ready to implement another round of monetary stimulus. Nevertheless, we remain pessimistic about the eurozone economy’s prospects and sceptical of the ECB’s ability to stimulate growth. … Continue reading “Unwise to chase the rally in European equities”

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”

The US will be reluctant to go to war with Iran

The media are full of stories of growing tension between Iran and the US. The attack on two tankers in the Gulf understandably moved oil prices up whilst unsettling investors about possible future escalation of hostilities. The US main allies in the region would like to get the USA more involved in their proxy wars … Continue reading “The US will be reluctant to go to war with Iran”

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”

Why the world economy is like a wobbly bike

The world economy increasingly resembles an unstable bicycle that can be tipped over by the slightest bump in the road. Three months ago we said “the easing in US-China trade tensions, more flexible central banks and the benefits of lower oil prices should stabilise activity later this year and support an upgrade in our global … Continue reading “Why the world economy is like a wobbly bike”

Whatever it takes…to raise inflation

The European Central Bank has consistently failed to meet its inflation target in the seven years since the region’s sovereign debt crisis. Nor has the market any faith that it might do so in future. With the European Union (EU) elections out of the way, the horse-trading over a host of top EU jobs will … Continue reading “Whatever it takes…to raise inflation”

Something has changed in the Trump administration

Donald Trump has put power back into his tweets. His recent announcements on technology exports and trade have sent markets lower. The tweets are backed by Executive Orders and by follow-up action from the relevant departments of government. It reminds us that something has changed in the Trump administration. The President has found a team … Continue reading “Something has changed in the Trump administration”

Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?

The latest developments suggest that trade tensions between the US and China will be more protracted than previously expected. The US recently announced it is raising tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25% from 10%, and China has responded by increasing tariffs on $60 billion of imports from the US. The US … Continue reading “Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?”

Still on our way in May, watching for winners

Investing is a curious mixture of art and science. It is a world of phenomenally fast algorithmic trading, supplemented with old-fashioned sayings and adages concocted decades ago. Behavioural finance studies draw attention to the importance of ‘heuristics’. These are mental shortcuts or rules of thumb that ease the cognitive load in decision-making. The saying “sell … Continue reading “Still on our way in May, watching for winners”