After several years of extraordinary central bank intervention intended to provide monetary stimulus to ailing global economies, we are finally transitioning from quantitative easing (QE) to quantitative exit.
Equity markets worldwide keep nudging record highs despite political anxieties - nuclear explosions in North Korea, Brexit implosions in Europe and Trump outbursts in the US.
More risky than political problems
This year has seen a continuation in 2016's trend for corporate credit. The European Central Bank (ECB) purchase programme under its quantitative easing policy has pushed corporate credit spreads tighter, starting with high-quality corporate issuers,...
Financial conditions are looser today than at the start of the year
A cursory glance through global news headlines might suggest the proverbial 'wall of worry', that markets are prone to climb, might not be short of a few bricks.
Opportunities in the IT sector
Who would have thought 12 months ago that Europe would have become the destination of choice for investors in 2017? What has changed?
Is there enough economic growth to prolong the current expansion?
Long-term asset return studies, such as the Barclays Equity Gilt Study, confirm that dividends - and in particular dividend reinvestment - are the drivers of long-term total returns from UK equities.
Outlook also bodes well for value investors
Investment grade remains attractive
Caused by three factors
Europe's economic recovery continues to broaden and deepen. The ongoing expansion is supported by a synchronised global growth backdrop with few medium-term concerns coming from the international trade impulse.
'Unjustly punished in sell-off last year'
The market for income funds is more and more crowded, which speaks to both the underlying attraction of the asset class and the willingness of fund houses to play to that demand.
Our UK outlook has been steadily downgraded over the last 12 months.
Video series continues
Brexit proving a headwind
The healthcare sector has been under a black cloud since the US Presidential Election last year, driven by concerns over drug pricing.
So far this year, we have seen Japan's equity market rising on the back of a supportive global backdrop, a relatively stable currency and healthy corporate earnings growth.
China has improved in last 18 months
At first glance, European smaller companies look expensive. They trade on a two-year forward earnings-per-share multiple of 15.8x, against their 15-year average of 13x.