The economy continues to grow strongly and on a broad basis. At the same time, we can see that the momentum is faltering. The monetary policy has become noticeably more restrictive. Bank of Japan recently announced that it was internally pondering exit scenarios for its asset purchase programme. The ECB is expected to terminate its programme within the coming twelve months. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and Bank of Canada will soon raise their interest rates further.
On 3 April, we held our monthly Investment Committee meeting. Only three weeks after the previous one – three weeks that were tightly packed with issues, as we can see in the performance data of the most important asset classes. Equities and high-yield bonds have lost value, whereas Eurozone government bonds and emerging markets bonds have recorded gains. An upside-down scenario, compared to previous months.
On 14 March our Investment Committee met, and as always, we started out on a discussion of our risk stance, i.e. our risk assessment. From my point of view, four findings of the discussion are worth bringing up here:
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?
„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.
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?
Author: Christin Bahr, Product Management Securities Erste Group
In the context of record lows of money market rates and low government bond yields, high-yield bonds remain in demand. In view of the already very low spreads it may be worthwhile having a closer look at this bond segment.
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.
Author: Felix Dornaus, Senior Fundmanager
The Trump administration should be keeping the financial markets on their toes in the coming weeks. Yet again, the issue is the government debt which will soon reach its statutory maximum.
The IFO business climate index calculated by the Munich-based IFO Institute is regarded as the most important German economic indicator. At 115.1, the value released for June last week was the highest since the launch in January 1991. It was also clearly above the value that had been expected by the financial analysts on average. The signs for substantial economic growth in Germany seem favourable.