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”

Where should investors look for opportunities in 2018?

After a turbo-charged 2017 investors have become nervous of a market sell-off. Among the signs: technology stocks have wobbled recently; high yield corporate bond spreads – the risk premium corporate bonds provide over government bonds – have narrowed to levels not seen since the financial crisis; and speculation has driven a bitcoin frenzy. But while … Continue reading “Where should investors look for opportunities in 2018?”

Turbulence ahead: Politics is never far from the surface

November was a lacklustre month in terms of stock market returns. Japan and the US led the way with rises of 1.14% and 1.06% respectively, which resulted in the FTSE World index managing a rise of just 0.7%. Closer to home the FTSE All Share fell by 1.66%, as did Europe and Emerging markets which … Continue reading “Turbulence ahead: Politics is never far from the surface”

Is this the end of the global cycle?

Markets often have setbacks. There is always plenty to worry about. Recent price falls have not related to any one event or new fact that has emerged. Some people want to take some profits. Some people have become more nervous about how sustainable the recovery might be. Some worry that the Central Banks led by … Continue reading “Is this the end of the global cycle?”

The politics of identity stalk European markets

Earlier this year investors worried that the euro was under threat. Its very future in the Netherlands and in France was on the ballot paper. As many of us expected, the euro survived its brush with democracy. In the Netherlands the anti-euro party topped the poll, but well short of the seats needed to govern … Continue reading “The politics of identity stalk European markets”

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 German elections and the markets

Earlier this year markets were stalked by talk of political risk in the Eurozone. The euro itself was on trial in the Dutch and French elections. Like many in the markets we thought the euro would win, and European shares would rise to reflect the quickening pace of economic recovery in the zone. So it … Continue reading “The German elections and the markets”

The Euro shares rally and French reform

The Eurostox index reached depressed December levels last year when many market participants feared that an anti-euro government might be elected in the Netherlands or France. It rallied to a high in May of this year, putting on around 20%. Markets anticipated the French election result and relaxed about the immediate prospects for the Euro. … Continue reading “The Euro shares rally and French reform”

Summertime and the livin’ is easy

Stocks are jumping and the market is high (to paraphrase Ella Fitzgerald’s seasonal classic). After a slight blip in June, July saw investors shake off concerns over the potential for Central Bank tightening and global stockmarkets reverted to a sunny climate of positive returns and low volatility. The UK and most developed overseas markets posted … Continue reading “Summertime and the livin’ is easy”

Why the markets ignore North Korea

Kim Jong Un, the North Korea leader, has consistently provoked the US and South Korea. A series of ballistic missile tests, nuclear weapons development, a substantial conventional weapons arsenal, chemical stockpiles and aggressive statements are a reminder that this authoritarian thug regime wishes to be noticed and is working to achieve greater military power. Meanwhile … Continue reading “Why the markets ignore North Korea”

Could the election hit your portfolio?

Theresa May is likely to increase her majority in today’s general election, although some outlier polls have suggested a hung parliament is a possibility. Here’s what could happen to markets. Charles Stanley is neutral regarding the outcome of the today’s campaign, but the polling and the commentary about the vote suggests a Conservative win with … Continue reading “Could the election hit your portfolio?”