Technology is central to these stock markets

When Nasdaq sneezes, world stock markets catch a cold. What began as a world share market correction based on worries about rising interest rates, soon became a series of fears about how much more technology stocks can achieve after a stellar performance in recent years. Facebook got into trouble for its business model and has … Continue reading “Technology is central to these stock markets”

War of Words

Global stockmarkets suffered another month of losses in March, with investors becoming unnerved by the potential fallout of an impending trade war. This has been instigated by President Trump expressing an intention to impose tariffs across a wide range of imports, with China the prime target. Given there tends to be no winners in a … Continue reading “War of Words”

UK investors to get direct access to some Chinese shares

News that the British and Chinese stock market will be directly linked is a positive for both countries. It proves China is opening up and it is, post-Brexit, a vote of confidence in the City of London. By the end of this year, there will be a direct link between the London Stock Exchange and … Continue reading “UK investors to get direct access to some Chinese shares”

Bad news and good news for markets

Woes have come together in recent days for share markets. As if Mr Trump’s threats of a trade war were not enough, the President has now joined with others in criticising the business model and tax charges of some leading tech companies. After months of leadership by Nasdaq we saw the tech index falling as … Continue reading “Bad news and good news for markets”

Down But Not Out

February started where January left off – providing investors with a timely reminder that global markets fall quicker than they rise. Strong US employment numbers and evidence of wage growth fuelled investor concerns over inflation and the prospect of a more aggressive US interest rate cycle. This led to a sharp sell-off in equity markets … Continue reading “Down But Not Out”

The changing face of world shares

How the composition of the S&P 500 has changed and how crucial the technology giants are to the bull market? The US market represents more than one half of the total quoted wealth in world shares. It is, however, a very different pattern of wealth holdings from previous decades, reflecting the huge changes underway in … Continue reading “The changing face of world shares”

A spot of turbulence

Global markets hit a rough patch in early February. Equity markets sold off, commodities softened, credit spreads widened and capital flowed out of emerging markets as volatility bounced back sharply. There have been a range of explanations offered for this dislocation, from jitters over rising inflation to concerns that rising term premia could snuff out … Continue reading “A spot of turbulence”

What Goes Up…

Some investors may be shocked that stockmarkets can go down considering the extended bull run we have seen in financial markets over the last couple of years. However, given that, as we write, major benchmark market indices are generally showing a decline of around 5% (in local currency terms) for the month; in context, this … Continue reading “What Goes Up…”

What does a normal interest rate look like?

Markets have been worried that interest rates in the west are heading back to normal in a hurry. If rates go too high too soon they could damage the recovery and do more harm to shares. As the West agonises over the pace of putting up interest rates and winding down special monetary measures, the … Continue reading “What does a normal interest rate look like?”

A healthy correction?

The phrase “healthy correction” is one of the most frequently used in the investment lexicon. It has been ubiquitous over the past few days as a descriptor of the significant falls in global markets. It is also a phrase that has puzzled me over the years. As to “healthy”? Falls of over 4% in a … Continue reading “A healthy correction?”

After the melt up

In January we saw shares rising rapidly, in what some called a melt up. In the last few days they have come back down again very quickly. The year’s gains were rapidly erased. Should we worry? Last week before the fall I wrote that “There will be bad times from time to time. Worrying about … Continue reading “After the melt up”

Farewell to 2017

Is it better to travel than to arrive?  The US share market has done well this year.  It has been in fitful anticipation of tax cuts to come.  As the old year draws to a close the tax cuts have as we expected taken legislative form. The US growth rate has risen, exceeding 3% as … Continue reading “Farewell to 2017”

Exchanges and the companies quoted on them – surely it’s different this time?

Although it is not the oldest stock exchange in the world, the London Stock Exchange can trace its lineage back more than 300 years. The earliest stockbrokers were debarred from London’s centre of commerce, the Royal Exchange, because of rowdiness. Instead, they began to congregate at Jonathan’s Coffee-House on Change Alley. Here, one of the … Continue reading “Exchanges and the companies quoted on them – surely it’s different this time?”

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?”

Signal or noise? Political risk in 2018

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Terrorism. Populism. A newly emboldened Russia. The world is an unsettled place, but financial markets are relatively calm. A few factors could yet jolt them. US equity markets have generated significant gains over the last year, despite the headlines speculating over possible Russian interference in the US presidential election, … Continue reading “Signal or noise? Political risk in 2018”