Return to Cyclical Normality?

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 11.17.07Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated discretionary investment managers, held their 17th annual investment conference in London last month.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Return to Cyclical Normality?’ Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the era of ultra-loose monetary policy is ending and central banks, led by the Fed, are in the process of gradually normalising policy. Is the World now returning to a more normal cyclical pattern, marking the beginning of the end of the extraordinary economic and market conditions of the past decade?

Glyn Owen, Investment Director of Momentum Global Investment Management, with over forty years of market experience, examines this critical question and its implications for investors, as well as the minefield of geopolitics and the rapidly evolving international order. Click here to learn more.

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STIR Crazy

mario-draghi-has-cracked-the-negative-rate-puzzle-for-banksJust over a month ago, the UK was still reeling from the shock result of the general election and it would be another fortnight before Theresa May and the DUP finally hammered out a deal.

Barely had the ink dried on the DUP agreement when the European Central Bank Forum kicked off in Sintra, Portugal, and Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, unwittingly set the cat amongst the pigeons when he said that “deflationary forces have been replaced by reflationary ones”. This caused alarm when investors interpreted his positive tone as a precursor to the central bank slowing its economic stimulus package more quickly than markets were discounting. ECB officials were quick to voice concern that the comments had been misjudged but this didn’t stop sharp price action in rate and FX markets.

Alex Harvey (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares his view. Click here to view.

US dollar on the back foot

dollarsAs Trump voiced his concerns over the apparent ‘bunch of bad hombres down’ in Mexico, the less sensational Fed voted unanimously to keep rates on hold and gave little indication of a hike at the next meeting in March. Comments included ‘some further strengthening’ in the labour market, increasing inflation, albeit still below the central bank’s target, and ‘soft’ business sentiment.

One thing you cannot say about Trump is, unlike many politicians globally, he has followed through with some of his main campaign promises, albeit some more recent actions are deemed controversial by many. We suspect the broadly dovish Fed members will act on a wait-and-see basis, as there has been little to no guidance from the Trump administration with respect to fiscal policy deployment and the consequent effects on US growth. The futures market is pricing in over a 70% chance of a hike in June.

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PortfolioMetrix Market Update

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September was again dominated by will-they/won’t they speculation around the US Federal Reserve raising rates at their meeting during the month, although fears over Deutsche Bank’s viability and an OPEC agreed production cut were also significant events.

Meanwhile, PortfolioMetrix’s model portfolios’ relative performance was again strong over the month, with the 10 balanced funds they regularly track up on average 0.3% over the month with the highest performing up 1.0% and the weakest down 0.5%.

Overall, Core Active 6 outperformed 9 of these 10 competitors.

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Weekly Market Update

News this past week:

  • Markets buoyed by central bank meetings
  • Bond yields fall after US interest rates kept unchanged
  • ‘Hard Brexit’ speculation pushes sterling lower
  • Subdued PMI results for the euro area
  • Choppy week for oil ahead of OPEC meeting

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Monthly Market Commentary

August proved to be a particularly quiet month for markets, with low levels of volatility across equities and bonds, and little by way of significant news flow. Overall the ‘risk on’ environment of July, post the UK Brexit referendum, broadly continued in August: most equity markets rose modestly higher, with emerging markets leading the way and adding 2.5% in the month.

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Global Market Outlook

Glyn Owen, Investment Director at Momentum Global Investment Management shares his views on what we can be likely to expect from global markets over the coming months.