Breakingviews

Wobbly stock markets are in thrall to central banks

By Edward Hadas
March 11, 2015

Performance this year reflects likely monetary policy. The euro zone is set to ease: equities are strong and insiders are selling down stakes in Zalando, JCDecaux and others at a record clip. The U.S. market is weaker as tightening nears. Dollar-exposed Asian bourses struggle.

Rampant market fear clarifies global divide

October 15, 2014

A slump in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields and the evaporation of this year’s stock gains augur poorly for the Fed’s bond-buying exit. Yet the domestic economy has been improving. Slowing growth elsewhere presents the bigger worry. America’s central bank can’t do much about that.

S&P 500 at 2,000 invites “new normal” thinking

August 26, 2014

A price-to-earnings ratio under 20 is only moderately above average, but U.S. earnings are at a peak relative to GDP. Adjust them to the long-term norm and the U.S. benchmark would be a third lower. Cheap money is still buoying stocks, but such new paradigms usually don’t last.

Plunging markets reflect ugly political paralysis

August 4, 2011

Thursday's market plunge reflects, as much as anything, an ugly political paralysis.

Latest rout a reminder recovery will be a slog

August 5, 2011

Contrary to the chatter, slumping financial markets aren't a repeat of 2008.

Asian rally ignores looming risks to growth

January 20, 2012

Markets have rebounded as investors look past a rocky first half to the shower of stimulus they hope will offset a fall in exports and credit in the second half. That’s risky, as governments might disappoint. While stocks look cheap in many cases, it’s for good reason.

Crude reasons support Saudi stocks

March 20, 2012

Foreign investors are sweet on Saudi. Growing excitement over a mooted easing of ownership restrictions led overseas buyers to make record net purchases in the $400 bln stock market last month. But in a market known to disappoint, it’s worth paying close attention to the risks.

Egypt stocks will struggle regardless of outcome

February 1, 2011

Egypt needs a roadmap that assures investors that things will be better than they were before the protests began.

August lull only partly explains market jitters

August 19, 2013

Trading volumes of U.S. and European stocks are anaemic – as they should be, with most players on holiday. Big recent price swings in global equities are therefore partly about thin liquidity. Sadly, they also reflect real concerns about the recovery.

Stock market rally celebrates bittersweet birthday

By Edward Hadas
March 9, 2010

Birthdays are a good time to look back. The first anniversary of the global stock market rally -- the lows were hit on March 9, 2009 -- certainly brings back memories. It's easy to see why the MSCI World Index is 71 percent higher now than then.