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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RSS - Strategic Insight
Sector report cover
*Multiple Sectors
30/11/2017
Equity strategy and market outlook November 2017

In this month’s strategy piece, Alastair George believes that, in hindsight, we have been over-cautious in our strategic views during 2017 as equity market performance has been strong, despite the starting point of extended valuation multiples and progressively tighter monetary policy in the US at least. However, even a cautious strategy would have generated returns significantly above cash during the year. While we take no view on the outlook for the bitcoin price due to its speculative nature, we do see the coalescing of a significant amount of capital and infrastructure around blockchain technologies as a very important development. There are potentially disruptive implications for the conventional finance sector over the medium term as there is now an established network effect within the digital finance community. For the traditional finance industry, the risk is that the genie is already out of the bottle. There is no change to our strategic view as we continue to believe a cautious outlook is warranted for developed markets on the basis of valuations. However, recent economic surprise is increasingly positive and credit conditions are loose. Therefore a major fracture in markets in the near term remains unlikely in our view. We continue to believe that, as we may be late in the cycle, investors should combine a relatively modest level of market exposure with only carefully selected equities.

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