Covid-19: the inescapable truths faced by investors

Investors will need to be more agile than ever as Covid-19 reinforces many of the trends driving the world economy prior to the outbreak. “At the beginning of the plague, when there was now no more hope but that the whole city would be visited; when all that had friends or estates in the country … Continue reading “Covid-19: the inescapable truths faced by investors”

Looking back at the markets through April

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Painful consequences Following March’s collapse in share prices, global stock markets made a partial recovery in April, although most major indices still sustained double-digit losses compared with the start of the year. As the coronavirus pandemic continued to cut a swathe … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through April”

Covid-19: why the tech giants have emerged as winners

While many businesses struggle to survive under the global lockdown, the largest technology companies remain afloat and in some cases are even thriving. Microsoft has reported a surge in usage of its cloud computing service Azure, as millions of people work from home. Amazon is hiring an additional 75,000 workers, on top of the 100,000 … Continue reading “Covid-19: why the tech giants have emerged as winners”

Looking back at the markets through March

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review March Meltdown The extended bull run came to an abrupt end in March as the coronavirus continued to spread into Europe and America, and a collapse in confidence pushed share indices into bear-market territory. Investors suffered exceptionally high levels of volatility … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through March”

China standing out among emerging markets

Like those almost everywhere else, emerging markets (EMs) suffered a coronavirus shock in March. Having plunged by nearly a third in the early part of the month, however, EM share prices partly recovered towards the end. Promises of large-scale monetary and fiscal stimulus in the US arrested the declines, but EM stocks still had a … Continue reading “China standing out among emerging markets”

Covid-19: Three economic scenarios

Markets are governed by the duration and impact of the many measures being taken to limit and reduce the number of people contracting the COVID-19 virus. This was the week when the western advanced world changed dramatically, with the governments deciding to ban or advise against all events, tourism, entertainment and hospitality outside the home. … Continue reading “Covid-19: Three economic scenarios”

International trade winds and stock markets

If the coronavirus situation escalates, world trade is in for a major supply shock that will damage company earnings and productivity. The outlook remains unclear. There were attacks on the international order of promoting free trade before the coronavirus hit. Many emerging countries refused to make rapid progress to lower tariffs and fewer barriers to … Continue reading “International trade winds and stock markets”

The biggest victim of US tariffs in 2020 could be the EU

The tariff battle between Washington and Beijing is far from over, but the biggest battle for US trade hawks over the next 12 months is likely to be with Europe. The global trade slowdown has already hit the European economy hard. Brussels has been forced to cut its growth forecasts for the eurozone to its … Continue reading “The biggest victim of US tariffs in 2020 could be the EU”

Are we witnessing the US dollar’s fall from grace?

A world in which money is scarce might appear to be a far-fetched idea. But for US banks in the business of taking deposits and making loans, this has become a reality. The chart below shows a global shortage of US dollars has emerged, shown in the left hand vertical axis in  billions. It has … Continue reading “Are we witnessing the US dollar’s fall from grace?”

The six biggest bull runs since 1962 (and their corrections)

The current bull market in US stocks started in March 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis and is the longest in recent history, beating the rally between July 1962 and May 1970 by over four years. At the time of writing, the bull market is still going. US stocks are up more … Continue reading “The six biggest bull runs since 1962 (and their corrections)”

Is recession looming?

Are we about to have a global recession?  That was one of the many issues discussed at the Singapore Summit – a meeting of global policymakers and business leaders – Martin Gilbert, Chairman, Aberdeen Standard Investments,  attended earlier this month. Can monetary policies help prevent a global recession? There was a mix of opinions on … Continue reading “Is recession looming?”

It really is a digital world

Over the last ten years of recovery from the boom and bust of the western banking crash, shares have performed well. World equities have produced a return of 155% over the decade. The years have been characterised in the advanced world by an unusual combination of low interest rates and low inflation. Cheap imports from … Continue reading “It really is a digital world”

China oil deal with Iran could derail trade talks

Don’t get too excited about the current thaw in the trade war. Despite both sides appearing to talk up the prospects of a deal ahead of talks that resumed in Washington yesterday, there has been a major development that could put any final agreement at risk. Since talks were last held, China has signed a … Continue reading “China oil deal with Iran could derail trade talks”

A cyber-curtain is set to divide the world

A new Cold War looks likely as the US and China increasingly diverge and fall into dispute. What are the implications for investors? The strong exchanges on technology between the US and China point to a world where there are two different systems, with a cyber-curtain descending between them both. Meanwhile, in a series of … Continue reading “A cyber-curtain is set to divide the world”

Looking back at the markets through June

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Brexit: no further forward   Global market review The third anniversary of the Brexit referendum came and went in June, and still the issue of Brexit remained up in the air. As the clock ticked towards the extended deadline of 31 October, the Conservative … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through June”