The current environment is very positive for the capital markets: strong growth, low inflation, supportive monetary policies, good earnings growth, and low volatilities, i.e. fluctuations. Also, the numerous risks have not had a significantly negative impact on prices. However, the phase of rising prices started as early as March 2009. This environment implies that any change in the relevant parameters such as growth, inflation, and monetary policy would be tantamount to deterioration, given that improvement is not possible anymore. The most important question asked by investors at the outset of 2018 is therefore whether this positive environment is still here to stay.
Capital markets recorded a positive year of 2017. The performance of the various asset classes was of the textbook variety: the higher the risk, the higher the return. At slightly more than 1%, even low-yield asset classes such as euro government bonds or US Treasuries (in USD) posted positive rates of return1). This came as a surprise seeing that many experts had expected higher yields for government bonds, which would have come with negative effects on prices.
Earlier this week, we convened the last Investment Committee of 2017. The general risk appetite of the team has not changed vis-à-vis the previous month (from 78.85 percent to 79 percent on our 0 – 100 percent scale). The team continues to see the future optimistically, with a resulting “risk on” stance.
2017 is drawing to an end, and the bottom line is positive. The outcome is significantly better than we had expected. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the global economy has never expanded more quickly and especially concertedly than in 2017. Also, inflation has surprised on the downside, falling short yet again of the expectations held by central banks and analysts.
This week we held our monthly Investment Committee meeting. Although only little has changed with regard to the overall economic picture, we were having a few interesting discussions that we would now like to share with you.
Equities have without a doubt benefited from falling or low interest rates in the past. Along with company earnings, the level of interest rates is indeed a crucial driver of dividend-paying shares.
Q3 is drawing to its end. Traditionally, this heralds the development of a strategy for the next year, an important part of which is the creation of scenarios. On the basis of the status quo, we have drawn up three further different scenarios in this blog entry.
Economic growth has increased significantly on a global scale and is broadly supported. According to our preliminary estimate, global GDP recorded a growth rate of 3.7% from Q1 to Q2 (annualised). While the developed economies have presumably grown by 2.7%, the emerging economies posted a growth rate of 5.2%. In this article, we would like to take a closer look at the emerging markets on the basis of classic economic indicators.
Some ten years after the outbreak of the Great Recession, global economic growth is positive and broadly based, inflation is low in the developed economies and falling in important emerging economies, and monetary policies are very supportive, cautious, and predictable. At the same time, company earnings growth has increased significantly, and the volatilities of many asset prices are low. This environment is generally positive for risky asset classes.
Two developments are prominently noticeable on the markets at the moment: on the one hand, the indicators of real economic growth suggest a stable real economic growth rate of about 3%. On the other hand, we have seen global consumer price inflation decline since the beginning of the year. The reflation phase, i.e. the general increase in inflation in the second half of 2016, seems to be over (for now).