The announcement by the US President, Donald Trump, to levy import tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminium (10%) has made waves. Can the favourable economic environment of boom, low inflation, and gradual reduction of the supportive monetary policy be toppled?
To most people, the notion of the performance of shares relates to changes in the share price. This does not take into account the second component of return, i.e. the dividend. Simply looking at the share price development seems too one-sided to me. After all, dividends may account for up to a third of total return, as is the case for example for the shares listed on the Vienna stock exchange. However, shares with strong dividends do not generate the highest total return in every phase of the market.
The economic environment for Italy remains challenging. The fundamental problem is the low economic growth. Although the composition of the future government is still unclear, the party programs imply a persistent reform deadlock.
Fears of rising interest rates are back. Was the recent 9% correction in global equities just a market blip, amplified by technical factors related to the trading of volatility products? Or something more serious – a regime shift signalling the end of the equity bull market as many have argued?
The economic environment for the capital markets is subject to change as we speak. About one and a half years ago, the global economy shifted from recovery to boom, which was very advantageous for the markets. The features were strong, broadly based economic growth, low inflation, very supportive monetary policies, good earnings growth, and limited price fluctuations on the markets. We have now started leaving this best of all worlds (“Goldilocks scenario”) in more and more categories.
The 4th BBVA Latin American Local Markets Conference in London gave me the chance to speak in detail with some local Latin American representatives. In the following, I would like to share some of the insights I gained from these conversations and the narratives that may affect 2018.
„If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Sir Winston Spencer Churchill
The year 2018 had started on such a promising note – is what we all were thinking. But at the beginning of February, the market taught us a lesson. As a result, the discussions at our first Investment Committee of the year at the beginning of February were interesting ones.
There are many factors that may affect inflation. Also, the weights of certain factors may vary across countries. Take the development of the exchange rate, for example.
The entire Bitcoin network already requires more energy than Peru or Hong Kong, or almost half of Austria’s power supply. Such a development is clearly at odds with achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, i.e. to curb global warming to below 2 degrees.
Equity indices have undergone a global correction in the past days. The Dow Jones index has shed more than 10% from its January high. What is the macro-economic reason for the correction?