magazine archive

magazine archive


Donald Trump is trying to reverse 48 years of economic history

Thursday 12 Sep 2019

When the latest meeting of the US Federal Open Markets Committee concludes on 18 September chair Jay Powell is widely expected to announce an interest rate cut, according to the CME Fedwatch tool. The only debate concerns whether it will be a quarter-point or half-point reduction from the current...

Why shipping stocks are running full steam ahead

Thursday 05 Sep 2019

There are probably many investors who, late at night, gently doze off while listening to the shipping forecasts on BBC Radio as the announcer gently runs through Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties and the 31 sea areas that define the waters around the British Isles. But the news that the...

Is the yield curve reliable or not?

Thursday 29 Aug 2019

The yield curve on government bonds is grabbing a lot of headlines and not all of them are encouraging ones for investors. In fact, there are four types of yield curve, using the difference in yield between two and 10-year government bonds as our benchmark. Normally, the yield on the 10-year paper...

How to prepare for more rate cuts and stimulus

Thursday 22 Aug 2019

The return of volatility to financial markets, as safe haven assets soar and risk assets wobble, is a timely reminder that it is far too early for central banks to declare victory in their attempts to boost global growth, stoke inflation and stave off deflation. Investors’ dash to buy (Western)...

Gold shines as US stocks stumble

Thursday 15 Aug 2019

America’s headline S&P 500 stock index continues to swing around as bulls and bears grapple for supremacy – and while they are slugging it out gold is quietly doing the business for investors. The S&P 500 is up by barely 2% over the past year, while gold is up by a nearly a quarter and a...

Keep an eye on banks’ bad debt

Thursday 08 Aug 2019

It may be ten years since the financial crisis came to end (or at least stock markets bottomed, to use them as crude proxy) but the after-effects continue to linger. This can be seen most clearly in the performance of the banking sector, in the UK but also worldwide. In 2019, the Banks sector is...

What we can learn from oil’s latest sticky patch

Thursday 01 Aug 2019

Stock markets are generally rising high, especially in the US, but commodity prices are doing nothing of the sort with the occasional, supply-driven exception such as nickel or iron ore. Despite a robust spring rally, the Bloomberg Commodity index is down by around 5% from where it stood a year ago...

Mounting debt haunts rate cut bonanza

Thursday 25 Jul 2019

One of the most stunning aspects of the financial markets in 2019 is the U-turn in monetary policy across the world’s leading central banks. The Federal Reserve started the trend on 4 January when chair Jay Powell strongly hinted that the American central bank’s previously metronomic, quarterly...

Why China still needs a trade deal

Thursday 18 Jul 2019

China’s second quarter GDP growth figure of 6.2% year-on-year appears to be the source of some market angst, not least because it represents the slowest rate of increase since 1992, which is as far back as Beijing’s records go. It is possible to argue that such a rate of advance is remarkable for...

What sort of economy will the new Prime Minister inherit?

Thursday 11 Jul 2019

As they continue to jostle for position, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are starting to outline their policies on tax and spending, areas that could both have an influence on the trajectory of the UK economy, regardless of whether Brexit happens on 31 October or not. It is therefore worth taking...