Volatile markets reflect fears of reality

Many refer to the growing gap between the reality of Covid-19-torn economies and equity markets. Battered businesses trying to adapt to social distancing and closures struggle to generate profits, to meet rent bills – or pay dividends. At the same time, major equity indices hit new highs. Most of us run with the wind, which … Continue reading “Volatile markets reflect fears of reality”

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”

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”

Care needed with big power politics

The pandemic and the stimulus packages have preoccupied markets for most of this year but risks relating to the aims of the great powers are too important to ignore. The growing tensions between China and the US are likely to characterise the Biden era as much as Trump. One of the few things Democrats and … Continue reading “Care needed with big power politics”

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”

What President Biden will mean for markets

Although recounts and legal challenges relating to the election need to be resolved, markets are moving on to considering what a Biden Presidency will mean. The media have decided Joe Biden will be the next President of the USA. Three states still need to complete their counts. In Georgia, there is likely to be a … Continue reading “What President Biden will mean for markets”

The US election – just political noise?

The weakness in US equity markets in September appeared to come as a surprise to many investors, despite history pointing to this being seasonally quite typical. After such a strong and persistent rally since the Covid-19 lows of March, profit taking and market consolidation should be seen as a positive rather than a negative. However, … Continue reading “The US election – just political noise?”

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”

What will the US elections do to markets?

The question whether Democrats or Republicans will have a majority in the House of Representatives and Senate matters to markets. According to the polls, the Presidential election is Joe Biden’s to lose. He has been comfortably ahead by around 8% in the national polls for some time. He is also ahead in most of the … Continue reading “What will the US elections do to markets?”

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?”

Do shares always win in the long run?

It used to be a common belief of many managers that if you bought and held a portfolio of shares over any market cycle you would earn a decent return. This argument may be changing. The argument went that the sharp cycles in shares were based on shallower and shorter cycles for economies. They might … Continue reading “Do shares always win in the long run?”

Riding the central bank stimulus

The major issues today are how fast the recovery will be, how widespread will it be, and how much permanent damage will remain. Bulls in the stock market are excited by the recovery cycle. It now looks as if all the major economies have passed the worst of their troughs in output and incomes brought … Continue reading “Riding the central bank stimulus”

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”

Five key investor questions on China answered

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, our team considers the relative prospects for China’s economic recovery and stock market resurgence. What the pandemic has highlighted is large differences in state capacity to manage this crisis. Will China experience a ‘V-shaped’ economic recovery? We are still at the beginning of an enormous economic and social repair job. Governments … Continue reading “Five key investor questions on China answered”