Macroview

Macron victory still raises questions for markets

The first round of the French presidential election has come as a relief for markets as a pro-European, reformist candidate came first and now looks very likely to win the second round. For once, opinion polls were fairly accurate in capturing voting intentions and last-minute momentum. But the result of the first round is not […]

Latest PMI numbers tilt growth forecast upwards

Euro area PMI surveys surprised to the upside in April. The composite flash PMI surged to 56.7 in April from 56.4 in March, above consensus expectations (56.4). Overall, April’s composite PMI is consistent with euro area GDP growth of 0.7% quarter over quarter (q-o-q) in Q2, up from 0.6% in Q1 and higher than our […]

French elections: a Le Pen win would hit euro area periphery

Our main scenario, a win for a Europhile politician in the second round of the French presidential elections in May, could result in a small relief rally on markets. However, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen is seen as being one of the two candidates to go through from the first round next Sunday to […]

Oil industry successfully reinvents itself again

In a ‘lower-for-longer price’ environment, there are still attractive themes and equity stories to play, assuming prices remain broadly above USD45-50 per barrel. Valuations generally remain reasonable, especially on the back of the correction since the start of the year. The growth theme is clearly the shale oil story, where both producers and services companies […]

Monthly Investment Strategy Highlights, April 2017

 Asset allocation The first quarter was exceptionally strong for risk assets, and the outlook remains good for developed market (DM) equities. We remain comfortable with our overweight in developed market equities, but it would be wise not to take too much risk in the coming quarter. EM assets may offer attractive opportunities on a tactical […]

U.S. job creation slows but unemployment drops to a new record low

Non-farm payrolls increased by 98,000 m-o-m in March, well below consensus expectations (180,000). Adverse weather conditions likely weighed on the aggregate numbers. Moreover, job creation averaged 177,000 in Q1 2017, above the Q4 average of 147,000. Importantly, the US unemployment rate fell to a new cycle low of 4.5% in March, from 4.7% in February. […]

New tech city could help China’s economic transition

At the beginning of April, the Chinese government caught people by surprise by unveiling plans to create the Xiong’an New Area, a new development zone about 130 kilometres south of Beijing. According to the announcement, the first phase of development will cover an area of 100 square kilometres, with long-term plans to expand it to […]

Reality check means markets face a pause

The first quarter was an exceptional one for risk assets—so exceptional that it is difficult to see how their performance can be repeated in the present quarter without some strong catalysts. According to our analysis, annualised returns on equities in the first quarter were up to three times higher than their historic average in the […]

Euro area: reconciling soft and hard data

Recent composite purchasing manager surveys for the euro area are consistent with a growth rate of about 0.7% q-o-q in Q1, above our projection of 0.4%, and are pointing to similar levels of growth in Q2. More generally, ‘soft’ survey data and ‘hard’ activity data have been diverging significantly of late, with large differences across […]

Momentum remains strong in China, but headwinds ahead

The official PMI figures for manufacturing and nonmanufacturing rose again in March, extending a rebound that has been evident since early 2016. Sub-indices also remain on a solid upward trend, with the production and new order sub-indices reaching their highest levels since mid-2014 and the new export order index at its highest level since March 2012. […]

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