17 March 2016

Was there a "plaza" accord after all?.

Yesterday’s FOMC statement and Yellen’s press comments were unequivocally more dovish than the markets and we were expecting. Going into the meeting there was a reasonable case for preparing the markets for a rate increase in early summer, given declining unemployment and increasing US core CPI. As it turned out, external factors – perhaps a euphemism for undesirable moves in global markets and the US dollar – were in contrast almost overplayed. For us, “Peak fear” was last month’s story, so why bring it up now?

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30/03/2017
Equity strategy and market outlook - March 2017

In this month’s strategy piece, Alastair George believes that it is time to move back to a cautious rather than outright bearish position on global equity markets as both the Fed rate increase this month and the evident difficulties of implementing Trump’s policy agenda were relatively easily absorbed by markets, suggesting a degree of support at current levels in the short term at least. Nevertheless, strong survey data and equity market prices remain at odds with much more modest improvements in hard economic data and earnings forecasts; he therefore remains cautious on equities for the medium term.

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