Europe has long been seen as the unloved problem child of the developed markets, beset with fiscal problems, threatened with disintegration and unable to escape from chronic underperformance. Now it is the new favourite. But can Europe justify its new-found popularity and higher valuations?
With all the major regions of the global economy growing in synch, investors are shrugging off political uncertainty. Equities have been buoyant, particularly in the US technology sector, where rising valuations are the focus of our lead article “Great tech-spectations”.
Indicators point to a peak in the pace of global expansion, but we still prefer equities to bonds.
As well as the portfolio diversification benefits that commodities can add to holdings of traditional stocks and bonds, they can also have speculative appeal.
After two bounteous decades, are the good times coming to an end for buy-to-let investors? We recently produced a short guide for clients who have, or are considering, buy-to-let investments.
The world is experiencing a period of rising inflation. A rebound in oil prices has helped after dragging down UK consumer price inflation into negative territory briefly in the second half of 2015. Improving wage rates in China, which in the past had been an exporter of global disinflation, have also contributed.
Early last year, investors were preoccupied with fears about the pace of China's economic slowdown and the threat of deflation. Just 12 months later, and almost 10 years since the start of the financial crisis, a global economic upturn appears to be under way across the US, Europe, Asia and most large developing countries.
Stock markets continue to take an optimistic view of the risks to future earnings, but we remain gently cautious and note that there are plenty of reasons not to be complacent.