Editor, Investment Strategy. Europe, Middle East and Africa, London
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Jan 17, 2013
via Global Investing

Weekly Radar: Market stalemate sees volatility ebb further

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Global markets have found themselves at an interesting juncture of underlying new year bullishness stalled by trepidation over several short-term headwinds (US debt debate, Q4 earnings, Italian elections etc etc) – the net result has been stalemate, something which has sunk volatility gauges even further. Not only did this week’s Merrill funds survey show investors overweight bank stocks for the first time since 2007, it also showed demand for protection against a sharp equity market drops over the next 3 months at lowest since at least 2008. The latter certainly tallies with the ever-ebbing VIX at its lowest since June 2007. Though some will of course now argue this is “cheap” – it’s a bit like comparing the cost of umbrellas even though you don’t think it’s going to rain.

Anyway, the year’s big investment theme – the prospect of a “Great Rotation” back into equity from bonds worldwide – has now even captured the sceptical eye of one of the market’s most persistent bears. SocGen’s Albert Edwards still assumes we’ll see carnage on biblical proportions first — of course — but even he says long-term investors with 10-year views would be mad not to pick up some of the best valuations in Europe and Japan they will likely ever see. “Unambiguously cheap” was his term – and that’s saying something from the forecaster of the New Ice Age.

Jan 11, 2013

The lure of emerging equity – step by step

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Global investors seem happy to
slip back into riskier waters of emerging market equities once
again but it’s a step-by-step process and ways of staying in the
shallows are still being sought by many.

As reflationary policies of the world’s central banks have
sunk real yields on traditional safe-haven bonds into negative
territory, income-seeking investors have over the past year or
more pushed out to higher-yielding debt and “quality” western
blue chip stocks with hefty dividends.

Jan 10, 2013
via Global Investing

Weekly Radar: Q4 earnings, China GDP and German elections

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The first wave of Q4 US earnings, Chinese Q4 GDP  and European inflation dominate next week, while regional polls in Germany’s Lower Saxony the following Sunday give everyone a early peek at ideas surrounding probably the biggest general election of 2013 later in the year.

With a bullish start to the year already confirmed by the so-called “5 day rule” on Wall St, we now come to the first real test – the Q4 earnings season. There was nothing to rock the boat from Alcoa but we will only start to get a glimpse of the overall picture next week after the big financials like JPM, Citi and Goldman report as well as real sector bellwethers Intel and GE. Yet again the questions centre on how the slow-growth macro world is sapping top lines, how this can continue to be offset by cost cutting to flatter profits and – perhaps most importantly for investors right now – what’s already in the price.

Jan 9, 2013

Five-day rule flashes green on market’s ‘Groundhog Day’

LONDON (Reuters) – Seasonal bellwether or just hocus pocus, the first five trading days bode well for 2013.

Given the often unfathomable global risks facing investors at the start of any new year, it’s not hard to see the temptation of a few rules of thumb to parse the next 12 months.

Jan 9, 2013

Analysis: Five-day rule flashes green on market’s “Groundhog Day”

LONDON (Reuters) – Seasonal bellwether or just hocus pocus, the first five trading days bode well for 2013.

Given the often unfathomable global risks facing investors at the start of any new year, it’s not hard to see the temptation of a few rules of thumb to parse the next 12 months.

Jan 4, 2013

Central banks still hold all the cards

LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) – If the opening salvos of 2013 tell
investors anything, it’s to keep their eyes fixed on the world’s
central banks rather than its more volatile politicians or even
spluttering economies.

Given the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest musings on Thursday
about how long it can safely sustain its current super-easy
monetary policy, that’s not as unambiguously positive as it
proved over the past 18 months.

Jan 3, 2013
via Global Investing

Weekly Radar: From fiscal cliff to fiscal tiff…

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The new year starts with a markets ‘whoosh’, thanks to some form of detente in DC — though this one was already motoring in 2012. The New Year’s Eve rally was the biggest final day gain in the S&P500 since 1974, for what it’s worth.  And for investment almanac obsessives, Wednesday’s 2%+ gains are a good start to so-called “five-day-rule”, where net gains in the S&P500 over the first five trading days of the year have led to a positive year for equity year overall on 87 percent of 62 years since 1950.

So do we have a fiscal green light stateside for global investors? Or does it just lead us all to another precipice in two months time? Well, markets seem to have voted loudly for the former so far. And to the extent that at least some bi-partisan progress reduces the risk of policy accident and renewed recession, then that’s justified. And Wall St’s relief went global and viral, with eurostocks up almost 3% and emerging markets up over 2% on Wednesday. Even the febrile bond markets sat up and took notice, with core US and German yields jumping higher while riskier Italian and Spanish yields skidded to their lowest in several months.

Dec 21, 2012

Investment Focus: Destination 2013? China, Japan, BRICs

LONDON (Reuters) – With a whiff of global recovery in the air and central bank liquidity abundant, investors in 2013 are packing their bags for China, fellow ‘BRICs’ Brazil and Russia, long-dormant Japan and even some Mediterranean sun.

Of course, seeking consensus on the top country destinations for the year ahead is hardly an exact science.

Dec 21, 2012

Destination 2013? China, Japan, BRICs and Med

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – With a whiff of global recovery
in the air and central bank liquidity abundant, investors in
2013 are packing their bags for China, fellow ‘BRICs’ Brazil and
Russia, long-dormant Japan and even some Mediterranean sun.

Of course, seeking consensus on the top country destinations
for the year ahead is hardly an exact science.

Dec 14, 2012

So much uncertainty, so little volatility

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Equating economic uncertainty
with financial market volatility this year would have been a
dangerous game.

Perhaps the biggest theme of 2012 for many asset managers
was how waves of monetary policy easing from the world’s big
central banks smothered market volatility – even as everyone
frets about slowing growth and earnings, recession and inflation
threats, and ongoing sovereign debt and banking nightmares.

    • About Mike

      "Mike Dolan is Reuters' Investment Strategy Editor in Europe. He has been a correspondent and editor for the past 20 years, working for Reuters from London and Washington DC in a variety of roles covering global policymaking, economics and investment trends."
      Hometown:
      Tralee, Co Kerry
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
      Awards:
      Reuters Editor of the Year, 2009. Reuters multimedia journalist of the year award, 2011
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