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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. […]

Drop in euro area inflation amplified by statistical distortions

Euro area headline inflation declined for the first time in almost a year, by a larger margin than expected by the consensus. Headline HICP eased to 1.5% in March, from 2.0% in February, while core HICP inflation (excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco) dropped to a two-year low of 0.67% y-o-y, from 0.86% in February. The […]

Time to deliver, ‘Perspectives’, March-April 2017

With President Trump’s plans to ‘reform and repeal’ Obamacare suffering a serious setback in Congress in March, attention is once again turning to the new administration’s plans for tax cuts and fiscal reform. The so-called ‘reflationary trade’, while in large part based on improving economic dynamics, also owes something to expectations that the new US […]

Euro bank credit still strong in spite of February weakness

The euro area M3 and credit report for February was slightly disappointing overall. Broad money growth (M3) eased from 4.8% to 4.7% y-o-y.  Bank loans to non-financial corporations fell back to 2.0% y-o-y in February, from 2.3% in January, as a result of weaker lending flows across the region. Notwithstanding this modest setback, the euro […]

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