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US chart of the week – Corporate euphoria

US businesses are feeling good – in fact, they are borderline euphoric. The latest evidence comes from the quarterly Business Roundtable CEO economic outlook index, a survey of 137 CEOs, conducted in February, which rose to its highest level since the survey began 15 years ago. All three sub-indices (capex, employment, sales) rose to fresh […]

US employment—Goldilocks again

There are two main conclusions to be drawn from the February US employment report. First, the US economy’s underlying momentum is particularly robust, consistent with our view that GDP growth will pick up to 3.0% this year, from 2.3% in 2017. Second, while the labour market is tight, there is still some slack left; in […]

Europe chart of the week – SNB FX intervention

In the wake of the financial crisis, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) increased massively the monetary base to provide liquidity and limit the Swiss franc’s appreciation. The expansion in the monetary base can essentially be seen in the form of an increase in sight deposits held by domestic Swiss banks at the SNB. The SNB […]

The Brazilian real and Russian rouble are still the most attractive EM currencies

Our Emerging Market (EM) FX scorecard, designed to assess the attractiveness of a given currency over the coming 12 months, ranks 10 EM currencies according to key criteria such as growth and vulnerability to external shocks. There have been only few changes over the past month. Our EM FX scorecard still shows the Brazilian real […]

ECB begins to rotate forward guidance

The ECB made one small change to its communication in March consistent with a normalisation process that is likely to remain very gradual. In line with our expectations, today the Governing Council (unanimously) decided to drop its commitment to increase asset purchases “in terms of size and/or duration” if needed, which had steadily become more […]

Japanese growth momentum moderates

The second preliminary GDP reading showed that Japanese GDP rose 0.4% over the previous quarter (1.6% annualised) in real terms and 2.0% year-over-year (y-o-y). This latest data release points to Japanese GDP growth of 1.7% in full-year 2017, slightly below our forecast of 1.8%. This still marks the highest annual growth rate for Japan since […]

Geopolitical and political risks – some important challenges ahead

Over the past year and more, market fundamentals have managed to overcome the occasional short-term bouts of volatility triggered by political and geopolitical factors. But we cannot dismiss the possibility that these factors will impinge more forcefully on economies and financial markets in the period ahead. Many of the sources of risk and uncertainty are […]

US chart of the week – Deficit with China

The release of January trade data could not have been more topical, coming as it does shortly after the Trump Administration announced fresh tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, in the context of dangerously hardening trade rhetoric. The monthly US trade defict rose to USD 56.6bn in January, the highest since October 2008. And […]

House View, March 2018

Asset Allocation Although markets steadied as February progressed, volatility is unlikely to return to the low levels seen last year. Yet, after a good earnings season, and with strong, synchronised growth, we remain comfortable with our positive stance on developed-market equities. The potential for increased volatility opens the way for trading opportunities – but also […]

Work in progress in China

China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) meetings are being held during March 5-20. On the first day, Premier Li Keqiang delivered the government work report, in which he outlined the major achievements of the past five years and laid out the key objectives and initiatives for 2018. The contents of the report are largely in line […]

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