Global Investing

Yield-hungry tilt to equity from credit

April 2, 2012

For income-focused investors, the choice between stocks and corporate bonds has been a no-brainer in recent years. In a volatile world, corporate debt tends to be less sensitive to market gyrations and also has offered better yields – last year non-financial European corporate bonds provided a yield pickup of  73 basis points above stocks, Morgan Stanley calculates.

Three snapshots for Monday

April 2, 2012

ISM report on U.S. manufacturing shows PMI at 53.4 in March against 52.4 in February:

Three snapshots for Thursday

March 29, 2012

OECD growth forecasts released today show the euro zone countries lagging behind other G7 countries:

A Hungarian default?

March 23, 2012

More on Hungary. It’s not hard to find a Hungary bear but few are more bearish than William Jackson at Capital Economics.

Three snapshots for Friday

March 23, 2012

Yesterday’s much worse than expected PMI data from the euro zone has pushed the Citigroup economic surprise index for the region below zero.

Three snapshots for Thursday

March 22, 2012

The euro zone’s economy took an unexpected turn for the worse in March, hit by a sharp fall in French and German factory activity. The manufacturing purchasing managers indexes for France and Germany were both worse than even the most pessimistic expectations from economists polled by Reuters.

Three snapshots for Friday

March 9, 2012

The U.S. economy probably created 210,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey. If the forecasts are accurate, the government’s jobs report on Friday would mark the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row. Refresh chart

from MacroScope:

Yet more lagging from Italy and Greece

February 28, 2012

At this stage in the euro zone crisis, we probably don't need to be reminded how uncompetitive the peripheral economies are. (Arguably, of course, they would not be economically peripheral if they were more competitive, but that is for tautologists to debate).  The United Nations, in the form of UNCTAD, has just pinpointed another weakness, however -- huge underperformance  in foreign directed investing, or FDI.

Teflon Treasuries?

February 6, 2012

The pleasant surprise of Friday’s upbeat U.S. employment report rattled the U.S. Treasury bond market, as you’d expect, encouraging as it did some optimism about a sustained U.S. economic recovery, tempering fears of deflation and casting some doubts on the likelihood of another bout of quantitative easing or bond buying by the Federal Reserve.  And investors wary of seemingly teflon Treasuries are always keen to use such a backup in U.S. borrowing rates as a reason to rethink a market where supply is soaring and national debt levels are accelerating and where the country has just entered a presidential election year.

Calculating euro breakup shocks

February 6, 2012

Euro breakup risks, although subsiding, are still high on investor minds.

Almost one in two fund managers surveyed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch last month said they expect a euro zone country to leave the monetary union.