Second quarter rally – Is the pesky blonde girl back ?

In the last investment blog I reported that global stock markets retreated in the first quarter of 2018. How things change! Half way through the second quarter there has been a marked improvement in investor sentiment and stock returns. The FTSE 100 index for example closed yesterday at 7,711, a significant recovery from its March 26th low of 6,889 and …

Markets Retreat in Q1 2018

Global stock markets ended the first quarter of 2018 down. Data from HSBC Global Asset Management and Datastream showed the following index returns,* UK Equities: -7.3% Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) -7.2% Japan Equities: -5.5% European Equities: -3.3% Emerging Market Equities: -2.3% US Equities: -2.2% *MSCI are an independent producer of stock market indices widely used in the industry. These are …

Dark Clouds Looming over the Bears’ House

For much of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, various commentators pointed to a Goldilocks economy, one that is not too hot nor not too cold. It has been characterised by synchronised economic growth around the world, with muted inflation and supportive central bank policy. It was also a period of rising stock markets and unprecedented low volatility. It proved …

Global Equity Markets Slide

Last Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.5%, its biggest one day fall since June 2016. In the week as a whole the index fell 4.1% whilst the S&P 500 dropped 3.9%. The latter as you may recall is more representative of the US economy as a whole. The trigger for the falls was a sell-off in government bonds. …

Synchronised Global Economic Growth & Stock Returns

There is a wide consensus that in 2017 we have witnessed a broad based global economic pick-up. This has been accompanied by all major equity market indices posting strong gains with many hitting new highs. Emerging markets, Europe, the US and Japan have led the way. However within markets there has been a wide dispersion of returns. Leading UK fund …

Investment Themes for 2017

At the start of the year fund managers, economists and other investment professionals as usual have put forward their views on the state of global economy and the direction of equity and bond markets. So what will be the key themes for investors in 2017? There is a wide consensus that this year could be a pivotal year for markets. …

Investment according to the Duke of York

It probably did not escape your attention that the FTSE 100 index set a new record high of 7,129 this week before falling back to close at 7,011 on Friday. The post Brexit vote bounce since 23rd June is attributable to the sharp drop in the pound against other major currencies notably the dollar and euro, boosting the value of …

Word on the Street

As I have gone about my business in the last month or so I have been picking up a consistent consensus view from fund managers. The figurative word on the street is that the global equity sell-off at the start of the year was an over-reaction, something which I thought at the time. Investor sentiment is clearly more volatile than …

Roller Coasters & Defensive Back Fours

Yesterday the FTSE 100 fell to its lowest level since August 2012. The sharp global stock market falls in the last six months have been attributed to fears of slowing economic growth in China. However China has had a side-kick to gang up on stock markets – the falling oil price.  A clear linkage exists between the two. Both are …

Markets Rally

One of the first things I do when I get up is to check how the Asian stock markets have performed overnight. It was a great surprise this morning to have seen that the Nikkei 225, the leading index of Japanese stocks was up almost 6%. I cannot recall such a huge one day rise in a major market in …