magazine archive

magazine archive


Why are government bond and share prices both rising?

Thursday 11 Apr 2019

Well here’s a funny thing. On one hand, global stock markets are casting aside the gloom that characterised late 2018 and are off to the races once more. All eight of the major geographic options available to investors have generated positive total returns in sterling terms so far in 2019 (compared...

The market alarm bell is ringing for the banks

Thursday 04 Apr 2019

It may not have gone negative yet but the yield curve – as measured by the difference in the yield available on 10-year and two-year government bonds – is as at its lowest level since 2007 in the US, 2008 in the UK and 2016 in Germany. Whether the yield curve is forecasting an economic slowdown or...

Record high FTSE 100 profits forecast in 2019

Thursday 28 Mar 2019

The FTSE 100 is currently doing a good job of confounding the Cassandras, naysayers and pessimists with a capital gain of around 6% in 2019 to date, despite the ongoing uncertainty over global tariff and trade policies, Brexit and gathering concerns over the globe’s economic growth prospects. The...

How to tell if oil’s rally can continue

Thursday 21 Mar 2019

Almost unnoticed, oil is trading near four-month highs at $67 a barrel for Europe’s Brent Crude benchmark and $59 for America’s West Texas Intermediate. According to OPEC’s latest monthly report, demand is holding firm at between 97m and 98m barrels of oil a day. This suggests that any tightness in...

Why central bank caution should worry investors

Thursday 14 Mar 2019

Just two months after it halted its quantitative easing (QE) bond-buying programme and made vague promises of interest rate increases for the second half of 2019 the European Central Bank is already downgrading its GDP forecasts for the Eurozone and delving once more into its bag of monetary policy...

Is the US Federal Reserve stuck between a rock and a hard place?

Thursday 07 Mar 2019

As the central bank calibrates policy, pulling on levers such as interest rates and its unorthodox quantitative easing (QE) programmes, it is logical to assume that the US Federal Reserve is the lord of all that it surveys. After all, one goal of record-low interest rates and QE was to inflate...

Everything you need to know about modern monetary theory

Thursday 28 Feb 2019

After the global growth scare of 2018 financial markets appear to be regaining their nerve and verve, at least if global equities are any guide, for three possible reasons. First, US president Donald Trump continues to dangle the prospect of a trade agreement with China. Second, the prospect of...

Why investors need to start watching the race to the White House

Thursday 21 Feb 2019

The race to the November 2020 presidential election and the keys to the White House on 20 January 2021 is well and truly on. Investors in US equities will be hoping that history is on their side, as the third year of a president’s term has, on average, been the best one for returns from American...

Do European stocks need more quantitative easing to hit top gear again?

Thursday 14 Feb 2019

Legendary Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke once noted ‘No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force’. Although he is not waging war in the physical sense, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi should have considered this...

Is Shanghai’s stock market ready to surprise?

Thursday 07 Feb 2019

China’s latest lunar year started on 5 February and investors will be delighted to welcome the Year of the Pig and say goodbye to the Year of the Dog. China ranks dead last in capital, local-currency returns from Asian markets over the past 12 months so its stock market has, frankly, been a dog. It...