Trade-weighted sterling has soared over the past couple of months, creating a stiff headwind for the FTSE 100. However, a bolstered pound should also alleviate (slightly) the squeeze on UK consumers whose real wages have been falling over that time. A stronger currency is effectively a pay rise for workers, especially those living in a nation that imports most of what it consumes.
"They are to vote today on a plan to re-open the government, but Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer says there's no deal yet.
But I believe investors shouldn’t get too panicked. It's important to remember that financial markets barely blinked at the last two shutdowns in 1995/96 and 2013.
American stocks have matched the longest run of unbroken calm in their history, fittingly at the same time as the US government shuts down due to political impasse.
The tone of 2018 will be set by bond markets, we believe. How they react to the monetary tightening (or not) of the world’s largest central banks will have important consequences for share markets and investor confidence.
Rathbones, one of the UK’s leading providers of investment management services for individuals, charities and professional advisers, has appointed James Workman to the Rathbone UK Opportunities Fund as an equity analyst, supporting fund manager, Alexandra Jackson.
For those interested in stats, another record is about to be challenged: the longest-running period without a 5% fall for the S&P 500.
This has been one of the most begrudged share market rallies in modern times. Our chief investment officer, Julian Chillingworth, explains why political deadlock may help it continue.
Only a brave investment manager would have told clients at the start of 2017 that the year would produce close to the best annual returns for global equites since 2009.
UK inflation crept 10 basis points higher to 3.1% in November, breaching the Bank of England’s target range. There has been some consternation about this, but we believe CPI has peaked and is unlikely to go much higher. Higher inflation in the UK, compared with muted CPI in other advanced economies is mostly due to the large post-Brexit move in sterling, which has slowly seeped through the supply chain to consumers.
David Coombs, manager of the Rathbone Multi-Asset Portfolio Funds, and assistant manager Will McIntosh-Whyte, share their seven key investment themes for 2018.
Going into the New Year, the Rathbone Multi-Asset Portfolio Funds are positioned for:
Equities over bonds, with a focus on growth companies;
Building positions in safe havens, including Swiss francs, gold, cash and diversifiers;
Avoiding government bonds, given low/negative real yields and unstable Western politics;
Maintaining exposure to the US consumer.