UK recovery loses momentum as Covid-19 effects linger

The latest monthly UK GDP estimate shows the economy returning back to growth on a rolling three-months basis – up 8% compared to a -7.6% contraction in July, which should ensure double digit growth for the third quarter. However, the data also reveals a significant loss in momentum, as monthly growth was down from 6.6% … Continue reading “UK recovery loses momentum as Covid-19 effects linger”

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?”

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?”

Has “Eat Out to Help Out” saved the UK hospitality sector?

The UK’s hospitality industry began to emerge from lockdown on 4 July when pubs, restaurants and cafes in England were allowed to re-open. Their Scottish counterparts followed from mid-July. The end of lockdown didn’t mean an end to the challenges facing the sector, with social distancing rules limiting capacity and customers wary of venturing to … Continue reading “Has “Eat Out to Help Out” saved the UK hospitality sector?”

What could a Biden presidency mean for climate change investing?

Joe Biden in the White House, and potentially Democrats in control of the Senate too, could turbo-charge climate change as an investment theme. The US response to Covid-19 looks set to be the dominant election issue as we head towards the November polls. Myriad other issues also compete for voters’ attention, and climate change often … Continue reading “What could a Biden presidency mean for climate change investing?”

Investors expect even higher returns from the stock market in years ahead – despite coronavirus shock

Savers predict annual returns of 10.9% from their stock market investments, even as Covid-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession. Investors continue to hope for double-digit yearly total returns from their portfolios, despite the huge blow inflicted on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to … Continue reading “Investors expect even higher returns from the stock market in years ahead – despite coronavirus shock”

The uncomfortable truth about climate change and investment returns

Investors can no longer ignore climate change. Long gone are the days of debating whether it even exists; climate change is here and it’s going to have a major impact on the way we live. It’s also already having a major impact on how we invest. That’s why by the end of 2020 we will … Continue reading “The uncomfortable truth about climate change and investment returns”

Can international tourism ever recover?

Travel restrictions are slowly being lifted, but most people are more likely to be jumping into their cars to go on holiday than onto an aircraft. So, can international tourism ever recover? And might the slump force some countries to reorder their economic priorities? Lessons from previous crises The UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) … Continue reading “Can international tourism ever recover?”

How smart manufacturing could lead to an industrial renaissance

The history of industry is one of constant innovation. The industrial revolution that began in the late 1700s was enabled by the advent of water and steam power. This allowed the start of mechanical production. Then, electric power and assembly lines heralded the era of mass production in the early 20th century. The late 20th … Continue reading “How smart manufacturing could lead to an industrial renaissance”

Is retail investor surge cause for caution?

With a combination of resurgent markets, seemingly ebullient retail investors and a bleak economic outlook, it may be prudent to tread carefully. It’s an old investment cliché that when your taxi driver starts giving you share tips, it’s time to sell. As someone who has been on the receiving end of cabbie investment advice during … Continue reading “Is retail investor surge cause for caution?”

Why do markets rise even when the outlook is bleak?

The global economy is on track for its worst recession in nearly 100 years, yet April was the market’s best monthly performance in three decades and they continued to rise in May. Why?  The first quarter of 2020 has been tough for the global economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. For example, a … Continue reading “Why do markets rise even when the outlook is bleak?”

Covid-19: the inescapable truths faced by investors

Investors will need to be more agile than ever as Covid-19 reinforces many of the trends driving the world economy prior to the outbreak. “At the beginning of the plague, when there was now no more hope but that the whole city would be visited; when all that had friends or estates in the country … Continue reading “Covid-19: the inescapable truths faced by investors”

Covid-19: why the tech giants have emerged as winners

While many businesses struggle to survive under the global lockdown, the largest technology companies remain afloat and in some cases are even thriving. Microsoft has reported a surge in usage of its cloud computing service Azure, as millions of people work from home. Amazon is hiring an additional 75,000 workers, on top of the 100,000 … Continue reading “Covid-19: why the tech giants have emerged as winners”

Oil price shock: the implications

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused widespread disruption in equity and bond markets, but it has also had some major repercussions for the oil price. This week, the cost of a barrel of oil turned negative for the first time as demand plummeted. That means oil producers are paying buyers to take the commodity off their … Continue reading “Oil price shock: the implications”

Downturns this deep can take a long time to recover from, financially and mentally

Before last week’s rebound, US stocks had lost around 25% since mid-February, as measured by the S&P 500 Index. Like many of you reading this, my savings have taken a big hit. I set up a junior ISA for both of my children in February, and that money has also fallen by around a quarter. … Continue reading “Downturns this deep can take a long time to recover from, financially and mentally”