5 May 2017

Not really an economic surprise....

Economic surprise indices and raw materials prices rolling over in Q2

One of the notable features of improving sentiment in global stock markets over the last 6 months has been its reliance on ‘soft’ economic data and a continuation of positive surprises. We cautioned in March that economic surprise indices were both seasonal and mean reverting and also highlighted the tightening of monetary conditions in China, historically linked to declines in iron ore prices. Six weeks later, global economic surprise has rolled over outside Europe while energy, coking coal and iron ore prices are falling sharply.

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17 March 2016

Was there a "plaza" accord after all?.

Economic surprise indices and raw materials prices rolling over in Q2

One of the notable features of improving sentiment in global stock markets over the last 6 months has been its reliance on ‘soft’ economic data and a continuation of positive surprises. We cautioned in March that economic surprise indices were both seasonal and mean reverting and also highlighted the tightening of monetary conditions in China, historically linked to declines in iron ore prices. Six weeks later, global economic surprise has rolled over outside Europe while energy, coking coal and iron ore prices are falling sharply.

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Sector report cover
28/04/2017
Equity strategy and market outlook - April 2017

In this month’s strategy piece, Alastair George finds that equity valuations are above average across the UK and Europe, and exceptionally high in the US. The combination of high valuations and price momentum accelerating to the upside, but concentrated within a narrow range of digital stocks, is starting to feel like the ‘financial instability’ the US Fed has been keen to avoid. He remains cautious and believes developed market equity valuations appear to price in a sustained period of strong economic growth, which is at odds with expectations in the bond market. However, an overvalued market does not exclude the possibility of attractive stock-specific or event-driven situations – which, in turn, are relevant to the debate that currently favours passive over active management.

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