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Chinese technology stocks, pummelled during July and the early part of August, rebounded during the second half of the month as buyers came in to snap up shares which had been subject to overreactive selling in the wake of a crackdown by the authorities seeking to ensure there is no monopolistic behaviour among the major…

Does China really want to go to war with the West? Right now, it feels like it, not in the military sense but from an economic point of view.  China does not want the West muscling in on its ambitions to take over democratic Taiwan, nor does it want to be told how to treat…

Over the last 12 months there has been a greater understanding of the word ‘vulnerability’ and how it relates to individuals and businesses.  An individual can be vulnerable to making incorrect decisions in their day to day affairs because of an aspect of their health, because they have suffered bereavement, because they have lost their…

Equity markets went off the boil for the first three weeks in May, continuing a lacklustre second half of April, but they finished the month with something of a mini-crescendo. European stocks completed their fourth consecutive month of gains, indeed the German, French, Spanish, Italian and British indices all finished higher for the month. Chinese…

Does the US stockmarket have a feeling of exhaustion? Maybe it is rather pausing for breath after what has been a remarkable run since March last year.US stocks reported record earnings from the first quarter, and although the SP500 and the Nasdaq reached new highs, volatility is negligible (less than 20 on the VIX). The…

Several events rocked the markets during March: a sudden spike in US 10 year Treasury yields due to the bond market refusing to believe the Federal Reserve can hold interest rates at current levels until 2023; a consequent rapid shift in sentiment from growth (technology with hoped-for earnings) to value (dividend payers with actual earnings…

10 year Treasury yields rose sharply in the US at the end of February, and it caused the technology sector, which is largely priced on the promise of future growth, to experience quite a downdraft. The market is not so tolerant now of companies which are highly leveraged on promise, and if inflation is round the…

Those investing in US stocks over the last 10 months have had an uneasy feeling seeing their investments going up day after day without a pullback. The higher the market climbs without pausing, the harsher the sell-off is likely to be. Such has been the flow of capital from central banks in general but from the…

Look forward to 2021! This should be a good year, with the roll-out of the vaccine, pent-up demand for theme parks, outdoor event attendance and participation, and overseas travel. Peripheral stockmarkets around the world should rise in the same way American and Chinese markets rose last year, although a degree of caution suggests that anticipated…

November was the best month on record for equities across the globe as they averaged a return of 13%. Markets are comfortable with a Biden victory in the US election (resulting in a stalemate between Congress and the Senate thus less likelihood of radical tax changes) and there is expectation of less international trade confrontation….

So, will it be ‘divide and conquer’ Trump or ‘another empty seat at the kitchen table’ Biden? Incredibly, Biden is guaranteeing that “nobody earning less than $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes” if he gets elected. That only 1.8% of the American population will pay higher taxes seems a very high bar for…

The Lifetime Allowance (the limit of the amount of pension fund which can be accumulated in the UK without incurring an excess charge) is currently £1,073,100. What is not widely understood is that if the allowance is breached in terms of accumulation, no excess charge is incurred until the fund is fully ‘crystallised’ by making plans…

China was responsible for starting the corona virus pandemic last year, and now they’re taking full advantage of the fear and uncertainty being caused across the world as a result of it. The cold war with China started too early to affect 2nd quarter blow-out earnings from leading tech stocks Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet…

The US Federal Reserve has said it will not raise interest rates until 2023 at the earliest, in an attempt to assure businesses that they will not have to deal with an increasing cost of finance to keep or get their business going in the wake of the covid pandemic.  It is understandable that all…

Sell in May and be an idiot!”, was how CNBC’s Jim Cramer summed up his appraisal of the 4% rise in US stocks last month.  Traditionally, “Sell in May and go away – come back on St Ledger’s Day” has been a decent mantra by which to abide if investors wish to preserve gains made…

The fact that everyone now, wherever they live in the world, is affected in some way by the effects of the pandemic, and possibly will be for another four to six months, is enough to make any investor think twice about investing new money in the stockmarket. It seems trite to be talking about the…

It has been the worst week for stock markets since the financial crash in 2008, evidenced by the US Dow Jones going from a record high to correction (usually defined as down 10% but in this case the Dow fell 15.5%) in a record 10 sessions, and the VIX volatility index rising over 100% in…

No one likes to hear about the spread of a previously unheard of virus but the corona virus emanating from China has thankfully put a break on the equity markets which were beginning to trade on over exuberance. The World Health Council declared the virus a world health emergency on January 31st, and what at…

This time last year this bulletin forecast no interest rate rises from any of the world’s central banks, against the opinion of most of the analysts that there would be at least three, possibly four rate rises from the US’s Federal Reserve. We were proved right. The year ahead should see again not a single…

The UK’s General Election on December 12th is no laughing matter. Martin Wolff, one of the most respected journalists for the Financial Times, and as a young man a supporter of the Labour Party, wrote a telling article this last weekend in support of the earlier open letter in the FT from 163 economists which…

Three days after the 90th anniversary of the 1929 Stockmarket crash, and with a current bull market of the longest ever duration, many are now questioning whether we are on the verge of another crash. In 1929 there was an exuberant air following the ‘roaring twenties’. People were taking on too much debt, including the purchase…

As unlikely as many see it, if Boris Johnson loses his job to send the Conservative party further into the mire, Jeremy Corbyn could be the next UK prime minister. In June, the labour party leader said, “The very richest in our society have had tax breaks, giveaways and tax havens; they’re living on borrowed time.” What…

Volatility returned big-time to the markets during August, making the holiday month the most hair-raising in four years. After July’s positive returns for both equities and bonds, August was a different story. Daily 200-300 point moves up and down on the S&P500 index were commonplace, bond yields fell in the US and across Europe as bond…

President Trump decided this week to taunt China. “We hold the cards”, he said. Trump thinks the tariffs he has put in place on Chinese goods coming into the US has brought billions of dollars into the US economy, and that China is “dying to do a deal with me” because of the hurt being inflicted…

At the end of April most investors were saying, “We’ll take a rise of 12% year to date for the whole year. Let’s pack up and go home now!” The “sell in May and go away” mantra proved not to be worth paying much attention to either, despite a wobble during the last 10 days of…

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