Call of the city – how investors can profit from urbanisation

When we think about urbanisation, we often conjure images of newly constructed skyscrapers in Asia or rapidly-growing cities in South America or Africa. Indeed, the proportion of the world’s population living in towns and cities is forecast to increase from just over half today to two thirds by 2050 (source United Nations). Most of this … Continue reading “Call of the city – how investors can profit from urbanisation”

Outlook 2018: Another good year for investors?

As investors look ahead to a new year, they could be forgiven for wondering whether they will be as pleasantly surprised in 2018 as they were in 2017. A number of political worries on the horizon this time last year signally failed to materialise, including the likely shape of President Trump’s trade policies, the rise … Continue reading “Outlook 2018: Another good year for investors?”

UK inflation breaches the BoE’s upper target

Higher food and energy prices have put further pressure on households ahead of the festive period. UK annual consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 3.1% in November – its highest rate since March 2012 and, more significantly, breaching the Bank of England’s upper target of 3%. The latest figures were higher than consensus expectations … Continue reading “UK inflation breaches the BoE’s upper target”

World pension ages on the rise: when will you retire?

State pension ages are rising around the world. Most countries will increase the point at which people can withdraw payments to 67 in coming decades. Some governments have been more aggressive. The UK and Ireland will increase the age to 68, and the British government has indicated that more even higher ages are inevitable. The … Continue reading “World pension ages on the rise: when will you retire?”

Eurozone: Political risk still simmering

The major political obstacles, which had held back European risk assets, have now been overcome. However, events in Austria, Spain and Italy highlight the ongoing trend towards populist, nationalist and now regionalist sentiment. In Austria, although the far right Freedom Party (FPÖ) was recently defeated in elections for the legislative parliament, it could enter government … Continue reading “Eurozone: Political risk still simmering”

What stockmarket valuations tell us about equities’ next move

The world is, seemingly, in a bull market in everything. Just take a few headlines from this month alone: US stocks, already at all-time highs, hit a sixth consecutive closing high, which is the first time that has happened for 20 years. In debt markets, Ireland issued a bond with a negative yield, which means … Continue reading “What stockmarket valuations tell us about equities’ next move”

Will it be smooth sailing for markets until the end of the year?

Schroders Keith Wade & Aymeric Forest look at whether equities can sustain their stellar run in view of the coming reduction in central bank liquidity, geopolitical tensions, currency moves and stretched valuations? Equities underpinned by solid synchronised global growth The global economy is on a firm and synchronised upward trajectory, which is increasingly industrial-led and underpinned … Continue reading “Will it be smooth sailing for markets until the end of the year?”

The rise of China’s technology giants

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have rewarded investors’ faith in them. But how have they come to dominate the online economy in China?  When little-known Chinese online gaming and messaging company Tencent decided to list in Hong Kong back in June 2004, its shares were offered at HK$ 3.70 apiece. Fast-forward 13 years to the present … Continue reading “The rise of China’s technology giants”

With the German election over, it’s time to focus on Europe’s growth opportunities

As expected, Angela Merkel has emerged as the victor in the German elections with her centre-right CDU/CSU bloc winning 33% of Sunday’s vote. The centre-left SPD took 20.5% and has said it will go into opposition. The dominant parties in Germany remain pro-EU although the far-right AfD won a higher-than-expected 12.6% of the vote. Negotiations … Continue reading “With the German election over, it’s time to focus on Europe’s growth opportunities”

Markets shrug at May’s Florence speech

Theresa May’s speech confirmed that the UK is seeking a transition period but gave few further details on the final shape of Brexit. Investors had hoped that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Florence speech would be the factor that pushed Brexit negotiations forward. However, the speech was a slightly softer version of her Lancaster House speech … Continue reading “Markets shrug at May’s Florence speech”

Draghi stalls for time on QE details

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) Governing Council decided to keep interest rates unchanged at their meeting on 7th September.  Importantly, it did not provide any details on the future of its quantitative easing (QE) programme, which is due to end in December. The ECB has typically announced changes in its QE programme three months ahead … Continue reading “Draghi stalls for time on QE details”

How will central bank tightening affect emerging market bonds?

Investors are worried; they’re hearing noises from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank about reducing balance sheets and hiking rates. They are wondering whether that will have an impact on emerging markets and on Asian bonds. In the past, they’ve been right to worry. Generally, when central banks start tightening, it does … Continue reading “How will central bank tightening affect emerging market bonds?”

How to invest in times of political change

The last few years have thrown up a series of political surprises. Rank outsiders overturning the odds have become so normal that equity markets have learnt to brace for impact and as a result, those impacts have become more muted. Political leaders and commentators appear to have accepted that old rules may not hold even … Continue reading “How to invest in times of political change”

Progress of Europe’s banks may mark a turning point

We crave turning points.  As we mark five years since European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes” speech — which crushed government and corporate bond spreads and contributed towards an 80% rally in eurozone stocks — are we on the cusp of another inflection? The eurozone has just enjoyed its best quarter … Continue reading “Progress of Europe’s banks may mark a turning point”

Fed leaves rates on hold and balance sheet reduction is coming soon

No surprises from the US Federal Reserve (Fed) with interest rates being left unchanged at the meeting last Wednesday. The statement contained some tweaks in wording with job gains now upgraded to “solid” and inflation is noted as “running below 2%”. Meanwhile, balance sheet reduction (the unwinding of quantitative easing) is now expected to take … Continue reading “Fed leaves rates on hold and balance sheet reduction is coming soon”