How might higher inflation affect your portfolio?

The latest figures for US consumer prices showed that the rate of inflation increased the most since September 2008. This is raising fears that we are headed for a sustained bout of inflation. Rapid price increases lower a currency’s purchasing power, reducing the amount of goods and services you can buy with money. This damage … Continue reading “How might higher inflation affect your portfolio?”

The pandemic has a further sting

Equity markets are discounting a fast pace of recovery in the second half of 2021. But investors need to watch out for those countries where lockdowns will need to intensify. The virus is not defeated yet. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention, in the last two weeks, India experienced 4.8 million new cases of … Continue reading “The pandemic has a further sting”

Running hot – but not too hot?

Last year, the big themes that found favour in the market were the digital winners from lockdown and the potential green winners from Build Back Better. This year, there is more emphasis on the shorter-term winners from recovery. The speed and nature of that recovery is now at the heart of the market debates. Will … Continue reading “Running hot – but not too hot?”

Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive

The big news from the fourth-quarter reporting season is that earnings growth is back. Consensus expectations for were for further contractions in corporate earnings, but instead we’ve seen an expansion – in the US at least. Now that most of S&P 500’s constituents have reported, some 83% have surprised positively – well above the historical … Continue reading “Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive”

Looking back at the markets through January 2021

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.  Global Market Review “Unintended consequences” Financial markets are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a sharp correction that would, in turn, jeopardise stability, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF warned that investors’ expectations of continued support from governments and central banks has generated … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through January 2021”

The virus prolongs its economic damage

As President Biden takes office, he highlighted the heavy Covid-19 death toll – now exceeding 400,000 – and the other damage done by the pandemic in the USA. The winter in the Northern hemisphere has not been kind, with a major surge in infections on both sides of the Atlantic. There have now been 96 … Continue reading “The virus prolongs its economic damage”

Looking back at the markets through December 2020

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Shares advance on vaccine optimism After a tumultuous year in which the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, many major stock markets ended 2020 in positive territory. Investor sentiment was buoyed towards the end of the year by optimism over the prospect … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through December 2020”

Patience required on the path to recovery

The growing confidence that 2021 will be much better than the year we have just endured is probably correct. That these positive emotions are stirred over Christmas and new year is right and proper – as feelings of optimism and renewal are central themes in our winter celebrations. There is also real evidence to support … Continue reading “Patience required on the path to recovery”

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”

Biden presidency could trigger global reallocation to Asia

Less confrontational style likely to lower headline risk and may drive global investors to refocus on the fundamental strengths of Asia’s economies and financial markets. Asian financial markets could reap the benefits if US president-elect Joe Biden proves to be more conventional than his predecessor in the White House, potentially triggering a reallocation of global … Continue reading “Biden presidency could trigger global reallocation to Asia”

Looking back at the markets through October

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review The “second wave” breaks Share prices fell heavily around the world during October as Covid-19 infection rates continued to rise. Governments intensified their lockdown measures, triggering concerns over prospects for economic recovery. “In the UK, rising infection rates led the Government … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through October”

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”

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?”