Our latest commentary - Pigs might fly

Whist we, the British public, have been worn down by three years of Brexit debate, we should perhaps have some sympathy for the Chinese who have been confronted with debate that their economy will suffer a hard landing for close to seven years now. 

Back in August 2012 after Wen Jiabao, the then Chinese Premier, had announced that their revised annual growth target for 2012 was a measly 7.5% the Financial Times led with the headline - Economists weigh Chinese ‘hard landing’.  Four years later George Soros, the veteran hedge fund manager, declared - ‘A hard landing is practically unavoidable’.

Yet the Chinese economy has ignored these doom-mongers and has continued to march onwards, albeit with a few faltering steps along the way. 

 

Our latest commentary - A year in review

After a superb year for stock markets in 2017 (the major markets averaged 17% gains), 2018 was a year that started where the previous had left off. By mid-January the S&P 500 was up around 7.5% and the Hang-Seng had risen by a staggering 10%, as investor optimism about the outlook for world growth continued unabated. Interestingly, the FTSE 100 hardly moved during this initial period as continuing concerns over Brexit (what else?!) led global investors to look outside the UK for equity exposure, a theme that has endured ever since the vote in 2016. Then, on 29th January, markets came crashing back to earth.

Our latest commentary - Oil spills

Markets have endured a torrid three months, driven by concerns over interest rate moves in the US, the ongoing trade war between the US and China and faltering Brexit negotiations. The average equity market has fallen by c9% since 1st October, erasing gains from earlier in the year and setting up 2018 to be possibly the worst year for markets since 2008.

The said, whilst it has been a very difficult year for equity investors, it has been materially worse for those investing in oil. Earlier in the year oil prices rallied to $86 a barrel, a high not seen for three years, before plummeting a staggering 29% since the beginning of October. Oil is now down nearly 10% for 2018. With investors understandably concerned mainly with equity market valuations, it is easy to underestimate the significance of oil price movements and their impact on the global economy. This month we consider what has caused the huge swing in prices over the year and how the price of oil might affect the global economy during this period of high uncertainty across all asset classes.

Our latest commentary - Red October

As has been widely publicised, after a quiet summer equity markets slumped in October. The FTSE 100 fared relatively well compared to other global equity indices, a marked change from recent relative underperformance, but was still down 5.09% in October. The S&P 500, representative of the 500 largest companies in the US, was down 6.94% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell by over 10%. The Tech sector suffered more than most, with the MSCI Information Technology sector down 9.43%.