Bond markets unnerve equity markets – again
We have repeatedly commented on these pages that the good mood in asset markets this year is more to do with central bank policy than a positive backdrop of the real economy. With poor economic fundamentals, central banks will pump liquidity into the financial system, supporting both bonds and equities. As the asset class returns table for July illustrates (see further down), this trend continued into the summer and all those who followed the old UK investment adage of ‘sell in May and go away, don’t come back till St. Legers day’ would have missed out considerably.
Trump’s trade war deteriorating into a currency war?
The US-China trade war has a new battleground: currencies. On Monday, the value of the Renminbi was allowed to fall to its lowest since the financial crisis. One US dollar will now buy you a smidgen over 7RMB. And while that is not much of a fall from the 6.99 level at which China’s currency traded last week, it is a psychologically important barrier that was enough to evoke the ire of Donald Trump.
Modi’s Kashmir land grab follows disconcerting new trend in global politics
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was sworn in for a second term at the end of May. In doing so, he and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party became the first to secure a single party majority in backto-back elections since 1971.