How might higher inflation affect your portfolio?

The latest figures for US consumer prices showed that the rate of inflation increased the most since September 2008. This is raising fears that we are headed for a sustained bout of inflation. Rapid price increases lower a currency’s purchasing power, reducing the amount of goods and services you can buy with money. This damage … Continue reading “How might higher inflation affect your portfolio?”

Can global cities still thrive after the Covid-19 crisis?

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many changes in the way people live and work. With many forced to work from home during lockdown, some people are now questioning whether they need to live in the city in which they work. This has prompted much speculation in the media about the future of global cities … Continue reading “Can global cities still thrive after the Covid-19 crisis?”

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?”

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”

Looking back at the markets through November 2020

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review A November to remember It was a November for investors to remember as a widespread focus on the perceived safe havens of gold and government bonds was replaced by renewed interest in equities. Many major equity markets notched up double-digit gains … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through November 2020”

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?”

Trade policy under Joe Biden

Donald Trump’s focus on trade will be tempered under President-elect Joe Biden, but he understands the potency of Mr Trump’s rhetoric on these matters. President Trump in 2016 set out to slash the large US balance of trade deficit. He identified his villains – China, Germany and Japan – and set about exposing the villainy. … Continue reading “Trade policy under Joe Biden”

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”

Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect

In March, governments across the world scrambled to contain COVID-19 by imposing draconian restrictions on activity.  As offices, shops, roads and rails emptied out, vast swathes of the economy were mothballed.  Over the next six months, we witnessed both the sharpest contraction and the fastest rebound on record, driven entirely by governments’ decisions to restrict … Continue reading “Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect”

The COVID crisis – from risk to opportunity

As recessions go, Covid was an unusually deep one, with many advanced and emerging economies contracting by well over 10% from peak to trough and a few by closer to 20%. However, it was also unusually brief, with the period of contraction lasting for only 1-3 months in most countries, as well as atypically strong; … Continue reading “The COVID crisis – from risk to opportunity”

Looking back at the markets through October

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review The “second wave” breaks Share prices fell heavily around the world during October as Covid-19 infection rates continued to rise. Governments intensified their lockdown measures, triggering concerns over prospects for economic recovery. “In the UK, rising infection rates led the Government … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through October”

Looking back at the markets through September

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Rising infection levels knock sentiment Share prices generally fell during September amid concerns over rising infection levels and their potential impact on economic activity. Investors’ worries were compounded by doubts over Brexit negotiations, continuing friction between the US and China over … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through September”

The virus remains difficult to control

Even in the most freedom-loving societies there was widespread buy into controls for the initial lockdowns. Now consent is waning. It’s been another week dominated by pandemic news. Donald Trump’s contentious approach to tackling the disease has been centre stage, with his self-announced triumph over the illness thanks to a couple of drugs that he … Continue reading “The virus remains difficult to control”

Back on the Brexit rollercoaster: buckle up for a bumpy ride

What’s happening with Brexit? The UK and European Union (EU) resumed Brexit negotiations over the summer but made limited progress. The political drama and posturing that accompanied the proceedings look certain to persist in the coming weeks. It appears the UK intends proposing domestic laws to weaken its Withdrawal Agreement commitments on the border between … Continue reading “Back on the Brexit rollercoaster: buckle up for a bumpy ride”

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?”