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The ‘Frankenshock’, two years on

On 15 January 2015, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) decided to discontinue the minimum exchange rate of CHF1.20 per euro introduced in September 2011. The SNB’s announcement came as a shock for the Swiss economy, and resulted in a sharp appreciation of the Swiss franc. But two years later, the Swiss economy has proven to […]

Using AI to forecast financial markets

AI algorithms are in place to make more accurate predictions of market movements than an individual human analyst.

Sovereign yields to rise as reflation takes hold

Our central scenario for developed markets sovereign bond yields in 2017 is based on our in-house risk-factor analysis, which is leading us to conclude that there is a 65% probability that 2017 will be a year of reflation (see table). Underpinning the economic environment will be the following three macroeconomic factors: Inflation, which should accelerate […]

The crisis in the Middle East and oil prices

Oil currently seems to have reached its fair value at around USD50 per barrel for Brent crude. We expect prices to average around USD55/b in 2017, while supply continues to adapt to sluggish demand. The agreement between OPEC members on 30 November and with non-OPEC producers a week later should reinforce the trend toward stabilisation, […]

Solid US job figures, wages accelerate

Non-farm payroll employment in the US rose by 156,000 month on month in December, slightly below consensus expectations of 175,000, while payroll growth figures for the previous two months were raised by 19,000. The unemployment rate rebounded slightly to 4.7% in December, only partly reversing the sharp decline of the previous month. The broader U6 […]

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 […]

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