The April 2015 edition of Perspectives is now available

World’s major economic blocs out of sync with each other

Negative interest rates and equities record highs

Two alternatives to obtain positive returns while keeping risks and diversification under control in a negative interest rate environment.
The March edition of Perspectives magazine is now available

New paradigm of negative interest rates raises a number of issues

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European Central Bank: “QE is a marathon that has just started”

No particular announcement or event was expected at Wednesday’s press conference and especially not the disruption of Mario Draghi’s speech by an anti-ECB activist. Beyond this interruption, two themes dominated the event: Draghi started the press conference by reaffirming that the QE is “intended to run until the end of September 2016”. His intention was […]

United States: growth in consumption disappointing so far in the first quarter

Real disposable income surged in January-February but, impacted by particularly inclement weather, growth in consumption was much less upbeat. It probably slowed from 4.4% in Q4 to around 2.0% in Q1. However, with solid fundamentals and a likely decline in the saving rate, we remain quite optimistic on US consumption. Surge in real disposable income, […]

Greece: Time for crucial decisions

More than five weeks have passed since the Greek government and the Eurogroup reached an interim agreement on 20 February. This agreement was supposed to break the deadlock that ensued after the Greek election. According to the agreement, the Greek government has to present a detailed list of reforms by the end of April. If […]

Share buybacks: a powerful driver that looks set to gain even more momentum

Share buybacks can involve huge sums of money. Apple, the world’s largest-capitalisation company at $748bn, repurchased 6% of its capital in 2014. That works out at a record buyback worth $46bn. In a world where top-line growth is expected to be lacklustre in 2015, the temptation is very alluring for company boards to boost earnings […]

Euro area: manufacturing sector gained momentum in March

Overall, PMIs and national surveys (IFO, BnB survey) were in line with the recent uptrend in economic data, confirming that the euro area is experiencing a cyclical improvement, largely driven by lower oil prices, a weaker euro and an expansive monetary policy. Services led the upward move The euro area flash manufacturing PMI increased from […]

Safe-haven assets beating a retreat

Gold and bonds regarded as being the most secure, like US Treasuries or German Bunds, lost ground in February as they reacted to hopes of a favourable outcome to talks between Greece and eurozone authorities.

Equities still in pretty good shape

Our indicators are showing bullish readings for equity markets in the developed world. However, we expect to see markets temporarily peaking in Q2 and hitting a more significant top later in the year. At this juncture, we see no reason to rejig our weightings for equities in portfolios. Share indices in developed nations advanced to […]

United States: the FOMC has given itself more flexibility

Overall, the FOMC's meeting was clearly dovish. We expect the first hike to take place in September 2015, followed by a pause until early next year. Calendar guidance abandoned Admittedly, the most important question mark regarding last week’s FOMC meeting was what the FOMC would do with the wording saying that the Committee judges that it can […]

Eurozone economy picking up some momentum

If we look back to our core economic scenario outlined in November last year, three of the key developments we had pinpointed already materialised in January this year: firm anchoring of US growth; quantitative easing at the European Central Bank (ECB); resurgence of systemic risk in the eurozone. On the latter score, the constructive talks […]

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