17 October 2016

Sterling: Lower for longer as the EU strikes back.

The UK’s new Prime Minister Theresa May’s honeymoon period is clearly over. Days after emphasising the importance of national sovereignty and appearing to lean towards a ‘hard’ Brexit, a dawn raid on sterling and subsequent weakness has given opponents ammunition to attack the UK’s plan to leave the EU. Furthermore, tough talk from the UK government has been reciprocated from EU leaders and European heads of state. President of the European Council Donald Tusk may even have given the game away by linking the concept of a ‘hard’ Brexit to ‘no Brexit’. For sterling, we believe investors should look through the politics and focus on the economics.

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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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