End of a stormy first quarter

Investors might think it appropriate that the first quarter of the year should end with a damp Easter bank holiday weekend (at least in the UK). After a pleasing last quarter of 2017, investors enjoyed what we refer to as a ‘melt-up’ in stock markets during January. Global growth had picked up markedly into the year end, and the expectation was that this would continue for most of 2018, boosted by US corporate tax cuts.

US-China trade war: about trade or about war?

Following Friday’s big selloff, US equities faired relatively well this week. Monday saw the biggest one-day rally in US stocks since 2015, while Tuesday and Wednesday saw things quiet down, with only tech stocks remaining unloved. All in all, it represents a significant bounce back from what was a material downturn in stock markets last week. Predictably, top of the list for explanations from the financial commentariat was a dampening of the apparent ‘trade war’ that was brewing between the world’s two largest economies: the US and China.

Private equity valuations, a Canary in the LIBOR Coal Mine?

Recently, we have seen a lot of coverage discussing the “LIBOR-OIS” spread, what it means, what’s driving it, and what it could lead to for the wider economy.

Have the tech ‘superstars’ lost their shine?

Is the recent sell-off in shares of the big technology firms merely a short-term blip or a signal of more permanent change? The answer to this question may shape the near-term direction of markets and long-term direction of the global economy.


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