Erste Asset Management - Blog

Posts on: Capital Markets/Macro-Economics
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Gerhard Winzer am 07th August 2015

Emerging countries under pressure

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Commodity prices have fallen drastically since the beginning of July. The commodity price index provided by Bloomberg has fallen by nearly 12%. In fact, many commodity prices are locked in a bear market. The index is currently almost 50% below the level of the beginning of 2011.

Over the same period the currencies of emerging countries have depreciated by about 35% vis-à-vis the US dollar, and equities have fallen by about 26%.

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Gerhard Winzer am 31st July 2015

China weighs heavy on commodity prices and production

Ⓒ ERSTE-SPARINVEST

Global GDP growth has probably only increased marginally in Q2 after the very weak Q1. Economic activity has thus remained disappointingly weak on a global scale.

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Gerhard Winzer am 06th July 2015

Parallel currency in Greece?

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Last Sunday, the Greek people decided with a clear majority to follow the proposal of their government. With 61.3%, the No camp rejected the conditions of the expired adjustment program. Thereby, Greece is one step closer to an exit from the Eurozone and the European Union.

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Gerhard Winzer am 29th June 2015

Greece – the never ending story

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The breakdown of the negotiations between Greece and its creditors as well as the planned referendum on 5 July troubles capital markets. Greece itself is formally not insolvent. As long that this is not the case the European Central Bank (ECB) will do whatever it takes to contain spillover risks. After the referendum, the next key date will be 20 July, where bonds issued by the ECB will be payable. Until then a number of decisions has to be taken and a new financial package negotiated.

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Peter Szopo am 24th June 2015

Measuring Greek risk

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The longest eleventh hour in recent history is drawing to a close. However, while the negotiations earlier this week seem to have narrowed the gap between Greece and its creditors, a final deal has not emerged yet.

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Gerhard Winzer am 19th June 2015

High noon in Greece and the trend to volatility

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Summary: The economic recovery in the developed economies is supported by the very expansive monetary policies, lower austerity pressure on the government front and among banks, and the fallen oil price. Growth rates remain moderate. In the emerging markets we can see signs of low-level stabilisation at best. The possible default of Greece, excessive interest rate hikes in the USA, a further decline of productivity, and continued economic weakening in the emerging markets are the main risks the markets are faced with.

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Paul Severin am 12th June 2015

Is the Eurozone facing a turnaround in interest rates?

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Eurozone government bonds have ensured very good performance returns in the past years. The asset class has benefited from the zero interest rate policy and the very expansive monetary policy of the European Central Bank.

In recent weeks the prices of bonds from Eurozone countries have gone through a correction, above all German government bonds. The reasons for the specific timing of the correction are numerous and cannot easily be pinned down. In spite of slight improvements, we do not expect an interest rate reversal for the Eurozone at this point in time. The fundamentals for such a scenario are not in place.

Euro government bonds are an important component of a portfolio. From both risk and return considerations, a diversification across a broad spectrum of assets makes sense (e.g. by adding high-yield bonds, emerging markets bonds or equities).
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Sevda Sarp am 05th June 2015

Could the outcome of Turkish parliamentary elections lead to increased volatility?

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The upcoming parliamentary elections on Sunday in Turkey could force Erdogan to postpone his plan for a new constitution and could lead to new political leaders in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics. This would trigger an increase in uncertainty and consequently a higher degree of volatility for the Turkish Lira and the Istanbul stock Exchange.
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Gerhard Winzer am 01st June 2015

Economic Growth: Is the glass a third full or two thirds empty?

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Weak growth

Real global economic growth was weak in Q1. Estimates put economic growth at an annualised 1.5% (q/q). Thus the long-term trend of downward revisions is intact, which keeps the fears of global economy possibly heading for persistent stagnation alive.

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Gerhard Winzer am 15th May 2015

Changes in the market regime

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The big trends of the past weeks such as the appreciation of the US dollar, the weakening oil price, falling yields, and the outperformance of Eurozone equities have reversed in the past days and weeks, in some cases drastically so.

What is behind all of this?

When both demand (i.e. economic growth) and supply (i.e. production growth) are weak and the central bank policies are very loose, we have a textbook example of an environment causing yields to fall and/or remain low. Indeed, yields were high after the Great Depression in 2008/2009. Having transitioned to a slow, weak, and fragile recovery, yields have started to fall and bond prices have started to rise (i.e. asset price inflation). Even if the economic regime remains unchanged, the market environment may change; the higher the asset price, the lower the expected return or yield.
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