How strong might the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery be?

Despite encouraging signs, policy support will be required for some time to come. It has been a tough start to the year for the UK. As lockdown restrictions continue to slowly ease, we examine the progress made in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, and whether hopes for a strong economic recovery are well founded. Vaccines offered … Continue reading “How strong might the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery be?”

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?”

Emerging markets lag in Covid-19 vaccine race

Constraints on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines have meant that the roll-out has been much slower in  emerging markets (EM) relative to developed markets. While some EM such as Chile and those in Central Eastern Europe are distributing inoculations relatively quickly, most are lagging behind. Despite warm words in recent weeks, the hoarding of vaccines … Continue reading “Emerging markets lag in Covid-19 vaccine race”

How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic

It seems ancient history now, but 2020 opened with a high degree of optimism for Asian markets. True, valuations were no more than reasonable given the share price gains of the previous twelve months, but conditions appeared favourable and there was a widespread consensus on a global economic recovery and a strong year ahead for … Continue reading “How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic”

What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?

This year Chinese New Year ushers in the Year of the Ox, which began on Friday. The Ox is thought to be a symbol of reliability, strength, patience and caution. It is also associated with harvesting, fertility and prosperity. After a tumultuous 2020, many an investor will welcome financial markets that are reliable, strong and … Continue reading “What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?”

Why lockdown winners are not vaccine losers

The past year has brought significant changes to all our lives and sped up the growth of a number of consumer and leisure trends. Online shopping is an obvious example and the same is true for some of the other “lockdown winners”: namely computer games and cook-at-home meal kits. Like online shopping, we think these … Continue reading “Why lockdown winners are not vaccine losers”

Post-Brexit trade deal: three key takeaways

As 2020 drew to a close, it marked not only an end to a dismal year beset by Covid-19, but also to the UK’s transition period as it ended its membership of the European Union. There was relief over the festive period among investors that a trade deal had been finalised, helping to boost sterling. … Continue reading “Post-Brexit trade deal: three key takeaways”

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?”

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”

The four “M”s: why the 21st century belongs to Asia

For a look into the future of the global economy, and where the power is shifting, consider technology developments in both China and India. In a mere decade, China’s e-commerce market has grown from less than 1% of global sales, into the world’s largest market in 2016, representing more than 40% of transactions by value. … Continue reading “The four “M”s: why the 21st century belongs to Asia”

Three reasons why I’m optimistic on Japanese equities

Investors are overlooking a number of structural shifts that could help improve returns in Japan. When Japan has hit the headlines this year, it’s largely been for short-term factors. A change of prime minster, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and a relatively successful handling of the Covid-19 crisis are all noteworthy. But there’s a … Continue reading “Three reasons why I’m optimistic on Japanese equities”

Fed repression could turn to Fed regret

At its latest policy meeting the US Federal Reserve (Fed) signalled that interest rates would be close to zero for the next three years as it aimed to hit its new objective of a 2% average inflation target and maximum employment. The central bank’s economic projections show that it intends to run the economy “hot” … Continue reading “Fed repression could turn to Fed regret”

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?”