Increasingly hawkish language from the Federal Reserve

Although US economic growth proved somewhat disappointing during the final quarter of 2016, Fed policymakers appear ready to increase interest rates as soon as it becomes appropriate; indeed, Fed Chair Janet Yellen warned that an unnecessary delay in tightening could prove “unwise”.  Meanwhile, European investors faced fresh uncertainties surrounding Greece’s financial bailout. Leading equity markets … Continue reading “Increasingly hawkish language from the Federal Reserve”

Deutsche Bank’s predicament dominates Europe in September

Europe briefing – European markets were overshadowed during September by concerns over the financial health of Germany’s Deutsche Bank, which was hit with a US$14 billion fine by the US Justice Department. Deutsche Bank’s shares lost over 20% of their value during September Inflation remained a headache for ECB policymakers Switzerland was named the world’s … Continue reading “Deutsche Bank’s predicament dominates Europe in September”

Bank of Japan issues Brexit warning

Asia including Japan briefing – During September, Japan’s Foreign Ministry warned the UK that Brexit could result in Japanese firms moving their European headquarters out of the UK. The Bank of Japan maintained its negative interest rate, instigated a new policy of yield control, and reiterated its relatively aggressive policy stance. Looking ahead, further cuts … Continue reading “Bank of Japan issues Brexit warning”

Concerns grow over China’s credit growth

Emerging markets briefing – As a whole, emerging equity markets outperformed developed markets during September. However, concerns appear to be growing over China’s credit-to-GDP gap, which has risen sharply, creating potential problems for the country’s financial sector. The IMF added China’s yuan to its basket of reserve currencies Russia’s key interest rate was cut from … Continue reading “Concerns grow over China’s credit growth”

US monetary policy remains in focus

Global Briefing – The prospect of higher US interest rates continued to hold investors’ attention during September.  Although the Fed left rates unchanged, the likelihood of further tightening before the end of 2016 remains strong. Opec announced a preliminary agreement to reduce oil production The banking sector came under pressure during the month amid concerns … Continue reading “US monetary policy remains in focus”

Emerging markets outperform in August

Emerging Markets Briefing – Emerging equity markets generally performed better than their developed counterparts during August, led by a strong contribution from China. The Shanghai Composite Index rose by 3.6%. During the month, a plan to connect the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges was finally approved in principle. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects … Continue reading “Emerging markets outperform in August”

Strong jobs data fuel US rate rise expectations

US Briefing – The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index , the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Index all reached new highs during August. Over the month as a whole, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index fell by 0.2% and the S&P 500 Index edged 0.1% lower, while the Nasdaq Index rose by 1%. The … Continue reading “Strong jobs data fuel US rate rise expectations”

Yen’s fluctuations continue to affect markets

Asia including Japan Briefing – Medium-sized Japanese companies outperformed their larger counterparts during August as exporters remained hostage to the yen’s strength. The Nikkei 225 Index and the Topix Index rose by 1.9% and 0.5% respectively over the month; in comparison, the TSE Second Section Index climbed by 2.8%. Better-than-expected US employment data fuelled expectations … Continue reading “Yen’s fluctuations continue to affect markets”

UK base rate falls to record low

UK Equity Growth Briefing – UK equity markets delivered a relatively muted performance during August as investors’ attention continued to focus on monetary policy – both domestic and overseas – and on ongoing fluctuations in the price of oil. The Bank of England (BoE) cut UK interest rates to 0.25% during the month, and also … Continue reading “UK base rate falls to record low”

European markets deliver mixed performance

Europe briefing – Although the overall performance of European equity markets was relatively muted during August, returns at individual country level were rather more mixed. Ireland generated a strong performance during the month, and the benchmark ISEQ 20 Index rose by 4.7%. Research from Bank of Ireland suggests that confidence amongst Irish businesses and consumers … Continue reading “European markets deliver mixed performance”

US interest-rate outlook dominates attention

Global Briefing – Investor sentiment during August was influenced primarily by the outlook for US interest rates and ongoing volatility in the price of oil . Better-than-expected jobs data provided a boost for US stock markets during August and stoked expectations of higher interest rates before the end of 2016. Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet … Continue reading “US interest-rate outlook dominates attention”

Global markets rebound in July

Global equity markets generally rose during July. Concerns about the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) appeared to subside as the month progressed and investors’ appetite for equities was boosted by hopes that central banks in the UK, Europe, and Japan will introduce fresh stimulus measures. In the UK, however, investors were surprised … Continue reading “Global markets rebound in July”

Investors shocked by referendum result

  June 2016 is set to go down in history as one of the more eventful months in recent memory. In the much-discussed referendum over the UK’s future within the EU, a narrow majority of Britons voted by 52% to 48% in favour of quitting Europe. Financial markets were rocked by the news: share prices … Continue reading “Investors shocked by referendum result”

Brexit debate and US monetary policy dominates in May

As June’s referendum on the UK’s future membership of the European Union (EU) drew closer, the tone of the Brexit debate became increasingly ill-tempered in May. During the month, various influential organisations – including the Bank of England (BoE), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) – contributed to the … Continue reading “Brexit debate and US monetary policy dominates in May”