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Geopolitics and investing: assessing rising instability

We believe US-China competition will be the overriding geopolitical issue in the coming years. History suggests there is a strong chance that China’s rise will not be incorporated peacefully. Three forms of geopolitical competition between China and the US could dominate the next decade: over international governance, territorial dominance and supplies of raw materials. Along […]

Euro area headline inflation rises at fastest pace since September 2013

Euro area flash HICP inflation rose from 0.6% in November to 1.1% year on year (y-o-y) in December, while core inflation increased slightly to 0.9%, both above consensus expectations. The breakdown by components showed that the main driver of the increase was energy prices. In the next few months, euro area inflation is likely to […]

The age of intelligent machines

Humankind is moving from an information age to the age of intelligent machines, with consequences for the world of work, the economy and society. The transition is driven by the explosion in the amount of digital data that is now available, artificial intelligence (AI) programmes that can analyse the data for the benefit of humanity, […]

Equity total returns could reach double digits in 2017

Major equity markets are likely to deliver a total return of around 10% in 2017 according to our risk factor-based analysis framework. This projection is contingent on two market risk factors, i.e. equity and interest rates. We use four building blocks in our calculation of projected equity returns: dividend yield, buyback yield, valuation and earnings […]

Limited short-term potential for dollar, yen will continue to weaken

US dollar/euro. The recent break to a fresh 14-year price low after 21 months of consolidation opens the way for a move towards parity in the EUR/USD rate in the next few months. Still, growth in the US is likely to be hurt in the coming months by the ongoing tightening in monetary conditions brought […]

Swiss National Bank focuses on “overall currency situation”

At its quarterly assessment in December, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) left its accommodative monetary policy unchanged. The interest rate on sight deposits with the SNB was maintained at a record low of -0.75% and the SNB reiterated its willingness to intervene again on the foreign exchange market if needed, “taking the overall currency situation […]

Fed revises rate projections higher: ours remain unchanged

The decision by the Fed this week to raise the Fed funds rate target range by 25bp to 0.5%-0.75% was widely expected. More surprisingly for the market was certainly the upward revisions in the (in)famous ‘dot plot’. The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) median forecast for Fed funds rates at the end of 2017 was […]

Sizing up the changes in ECB’s monetary policy

In December, the ECB made important changes to its quantitative easing (QE) programme, deciding to extend it by at least nine months to December 2017 while scaling down the pace of its asset purchases from EUR80 bn to EUR60 bn from April. The ECB also announced the easing of technical constraints through the removal of […]

China maintains economic momentum

The latest data releases out of Beijing indicate steady momentum in the Chinese economy. Exports are showing signs of recovery and investment in manufacturing is helping to offset a recent drop in property investment. All in all, the latest data releases are consistent with our full-year GDP forecast of 6.7% in 2016. Looking ahead, we […]

Slower for (much) longer: ECB extends QE

The ECB made the following announcements at its 8 December meeting: • QE extension: asset purchases will be continued for an extra nine months, at a pace of EUR60 bn month from April to December 2017 (or beyond, if necessary), with an option to increase the size and/or duration of purchases if “the outlook becomes […]

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