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From the category archives: Adviser Hub News

Strong beginning to the Q1 earnings season

Strong first-quarter earnings reports provided a boost for investors who have been distracted by ongoing political developments and concerns over possible trade wars.

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Corporate activity dominates the FTSE 100

UK markets in April were notable for a flurry of corporate activity that was concentrated in the FTSE 100 Index, and large companies generally outperformed their medium-sized counterparts. The UK economy posted its slowest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2012 during the first three months of 2018, growing by 0.1%.

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UK economic growth disappoints

Mounting speculation over inflation drove up government bond yields around the world in the middle of April, and the benchmark UK gilt yield closed as high as 1.54% during April. Sterling rallied against the US dollar in the middle of the month, boosted by mounting expectations of higher interest rates, but later subsided on news of disappointing economic growth.

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10-year Treasury bond yields breach 3%

The ten-year US Treasury Bond yield rose above 3% for the first time since 2011 during April, stoked by mounting concerns over the outlook for inflation. The price of oil continued to climb during the month, and the price of a barrel of Brent Crude oil rose above US$75 amid worries that burgeoning trade wars and renewed sanctions against Iran will stoke inflationary pressures. 

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ECB remains supportive

During April, the ECB confirmed that it would continue with its planned programme of monthly bond purchases until the end of September, and that asset purchases would carry on beyond this date “if necessary”. The ECB also reiterated that its current policy of ultra-low interest rates would continue “well past” the conclusion of its asset-purchase programme. 

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Oil price continues its rise

China posted encouraging annualised economic growth of 6.8% during the first three months of the year, beating the official target of “around 6.5%”. Nevertheless, there are persistent concerns about mounting debt levels in China. During April, the IMF warned China against financing unsustainable infrastructure projects in highly indebted countries.

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Ongoing concern over trade tensions

Confidence amongst large Japanese manufacturers deteriorated during the first quarter of 2018, according to the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ’s) quarterly Tankan survey. Meanwhile, Japan’s Foreign Minister warned that both China and Japan are concerned about the possible impact of trade wars upon the global economy.

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Curtains for emerging markets?

Emerging markets currencies and government bonds have seen an uncomfortable sell-off in recent weeks. Will it endure?

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How Factor Returns have Faded Around the World

The deterioration of factor return premiums is a major worry for smart beta investors. It raises the concern that the back-tested returns of the past will fail to materialise during the life of their investment.

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Navigating investment grade: where do the opportunities lie?

Invesco Perpetual Corporate Bond Fund Manager Michael Matthews explains why investors must look beyond the negative headlines. There are still plenty of opportunities to make money in credit.

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