The role of a central bank is not to ensure that investors always make money, it is to contribute to economic growth and stability

To paraphrase The Courteeners – “You can’t be at the zero bound forever, pull yourselves together, I know it sounds strange but economies, they change”.  But not yet, eh Janet? A few more months of zero rates and waiting for that happy moment when there is no slack left in the labour market in the […]

20 September 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Bond buying opportunity if the Fed raises rates this September

Bond returns so far this year are in line with our view that they would be low. We were worried about yields rising or spreads widening. We have had a bit of both. Returns are mostly flat year-to-date. As usual, bonds have proven to be a better preserver of capital than equity markets in times […]

5 September 2015 by Chris Iggo

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No universal agreement on just how weak China is

It’s been quite a week for equity and currency markets. The fear that is driving volatility in emerging markets is that growth is very soft in China and that this will generate another round of global deflationary concerns. Those that believe this think a Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike will make things worse. The fears […]

29 August 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Getting a Fed rate hike out of the way might be a relief for markets

Those that take long holidays in August often miss a surge in volatility. In many years that signals a difficult Q3 for risky assets and this year looks like being no different. There are two forces at work – the increasingly painful adjustment process in China and the tedium of waiting for the Federal Reserve […]

21 August 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Now what about interest rates?

Policy makers and market participants greeted the news that an agreement had been reached with Greece that paves the way to discussions about a third bailout with a universal weariness and a huge sigh. Not necessarily a sigh of relief, but one which reflects a common “bamboozlement” with how we ended up in this situation. […]

21 July 2015 by Chris Iggo

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The Greek crisis will not wreak global damage like Lehman Brothers but markets will still react

“Ne” or “Oxi” –  I don’t think I’ve ever known so many acquaintances that have decided to take their vacation in Greece. One colleague is there at the moment, another is due to travel this weekend, as are friends of mine. I am also scheduled to go to Zante in August. The word from our […]

4 July 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Fixed income in a volatile uncertain period

We are taking a more cautious stance in fixed income portfolios as we enter a testing period for the markets. If the Federal Reserve (Fed) increases interest rates, it will be the first time it has done so for over nine years. It is difficult to know how markets will respond, knowing that this will […]

1 July 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Things are particularly tense in the bond market these days

It’s a bit nervy in the bond market at the moment. We can all see reasons to sell, but are worried that when the time comes, we won’t be able to. Greece might cause a credit market wobble, the Federal Reserve (Fed) might cause another rates market wobble and the traders might all be on […]

19 June 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Sensible to prepare for the worst outcome on Greece

Bund yields have risen 80 basis points since their low in April. The long end of the market has fallen by 20% in price terms. Total returns to fixed income are flat to negative year to date, which is not a surprise since it’s a bear market. Well, it’s phase one of a bear market. […]

6 June 2015 by Chris Iggo

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Markets have a habit of confounding market expectations

You know that higher rate forecast you had…well – It’s both typical and humbling at the same time the way markets have a habit of confounding market expectations and positioning. For goodness knows how long now investors have been looking for higher bond yields because of intermittent periods of bullishness on growth and for the simple […]

16 May 2015 by Chris Iggo

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