Economic and Market Review - November 2016: After Brexit, what next?

On Thursday June 23rd, Britain voted by a 52% to 48% margin to leave the European Union (EU), after 43 years of membership. Electoral turnout was 71.8%, the highest since the 1992 general election, and more than 30 million people voted, with 17.4 million choosing Leave, 1.3 million more than Remain, and the biggest popular vote in British history. By comparison, the Conservatives received...Read More

Economic and Market Review - May 2016: The Problem Of Negative Interest Rates

The attempts by central banks around the world to help the global economy recover from the Financial Crisis of 2008-09 and prevent the onset of deflation (falling prices) have led to several paradoxical outcomes. The first of these is obvious to anyone who is attempting to earn a decent return on their savings. With short term interest rates at 60 year lows, having fallen to 0.5% in Canada...Read More

Benefitting From Volatility

In previous market reviews, we have noted the increased level of volatility in global stock and bond markets over the last few years, and pointed out this development reinforced the importance of maintaining a diversified portfolio of different asset classes for pension funds and investors generally. 2015 is now in the books, with disappointing performances from...Read More

The Worst Quarter in Four Years – and How to Make the Most of It

The quarter that ended on 30th September, 2015 was the worst for global stock markets for four years, since the initial worries over the Greek crisis and the break-up of the Euro-zone drove down markets in 2011. US indices fell between 7.8% for the S&P500 and Nasdaq and 8.4% for the Dow Jones Industrials. The energy and materials...Read More

Greece - The Final Act?

This article is not intended to examine the details of Greece’s potential exit from the Euro-zone, which seemingly took a step nearer with its default on June 30th on the $1.5 billion it owes the IMF, followed on 5th July by the overwhelming 61% majority in a hastily called referendum against accepting the EU’s most recent bailout offer... Read More

Economic & Market Review - April 2015

Stock markets hit new all-time highs in nominal terms during the first quarter, with the venerable Dow Jones Industrials reaching 18,288 on March 2nd 2015, up an astonishing 2,400 points or 15.3% from its 52 week low, seen as recently as mid-October last year...Read More

Economic & Market Review - February 2015

The recent interest rate cut in January by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, reducing rates by 0.25% to 0.75%, caught many investors and commentators by surprise. Admittedly, the Canadian economy is experiencing slower growth, as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 0.2% in November 2014...Read More

Economic & Market Review - December 2014

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa this year has focused investors’ attention on healthcare stocks, and several drugs and medical equipment companies have benefited from being regarded as providing solutions to the issues...Read More

Economic & Market Review - October 2014

September 2014 will go down as one of the worst months for world stock markets in a couple of years. Fuelled by a rise in long term government bond yields, caused by forecasts of rising short-term interest rates in North America, global stocks sold off between 2% and 5% from highs reached in the middle of this year. The broad S&P500 Index in...Read More

Economic & Market Review - Mid Year Update 2014

2014 was supposed to be the year that developed economies such as the US, Japan, the UK and Europe saw their GDP growth accelerate from their somewhat lackluster performance of 2012-13. As a result, most observers expected earnings growth would increase...Read More

Economic & Market Review - May 2014

One third of the way through 2014, stock markets have already experienced enough volatility for an entire year. With a sharp fall in January, the S&P 500 Index was off 3.5%, and the MSCI EAFE Index of non-North American developed countries...Read More

Markets near all time highs - Is it time to take profits?

The first quarter of 2014 saw bond and stock markets stumble, then recover. Worries over tightening by the US authorities, triggered a sharp fall in the markets worldwide in January and February. This was mainly due to the new Chairperson of the US Federal Reserve (the Fed), Janet Yellen...Read More

Economic & Market Review - February 2014

The decision in December 2013 by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) to finally begin its long -awaited reduction in the U$85 billion of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities it was buying each month (known as Quantitative Easing-QE) has had dramatic effects on world stock markets. The actual reduction was fairly small, with the Fed only reducing the amount of its purchases by...Read More

Economic & Market Review - January 2014

The Best Year since the 1990s. Showing that forecasts about the economic and stock market outlook are about as reliable as those about the weather, 2013 ended up as the best year for major stock market indices in twenty years. At the same time,...Read More

Economic & Market Review - October 2013

The controversy in October over the raising of the US federal government debt limit from its already amazing amount of U$ 17 trillion (that’s not a misprint) and the temporary shutdown of parts the federal government due to the failure of the Obama administration and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to agree on a budget, gave investors a chance to assess the longer term outlook for the world’s largest economy. While the US continues to grow...Read More

Economic & Market Review - September 2013

On September 18th, the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) made the decision or rather, the non-decision, not to reduce the $85 billion worth of Treasury and Mortgage-backed bonds that they are currently buying each month, known as Quantitative Easing (QE). The markets were rattled from the shock of the announcement...Read More

Economic & Market Review - August 2013

The recent sharp rebound in the price of gold and silver, after a tumultuous first half of 2013, has left many observers wondering whether this is anything more than a “dead cat” bounce. While gold itself is only up 3.1% in the last month, silver, often called the poor man's gold, and more volatile...Read More

Economic & Market Review - July 2013

With the year over the halfway point, it makes sense to look at the performance of the various asset classes, to see whether any obvious out or under performance by an individual asset suggests possible rebalancing within an investment portfolio. Of course, an investor, whether using a traditional pension plan such as a defined contribution scheme, or using a Personal Pension Plan (PPP) or an Individual Pension Plan, would...Read More

Economic & Market Review - June 2013

In my first commentary for INTEGRIS last month, I mentioned that long term bond yields were near 60 year lows, which posed problems both for investors looking for income, and for pension funds and insurance companies that had to deal with the deficits for their funds created by an exceptionally low long term discount rate. Along with numerous other observers, I suggested that bond yields...Read More

Economic & Market Review - May 2013

This is the first edition of the INTEGRIS Economic & Markets Review, which will be analyzing recent developments in financial markets on a regular basis. It is intended to provide INTEGRIS clients with an overview of what is happening in terms of global economic developments, and their effects on different types of financial assets...Read More