The MSCI AC ex Japan (AxJ) Index returned 2.7% in USD terms in December, outperforming the MSCI AC World index which returned 1.4%.
As widely expected, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 25bps in December, its third rate hike this year. It also raised its GDP forecast for 2018.
A flying visit into China post the 19th Party Congress seemed like a good idea. I got the sense that post the conference, visibility and direction over the next five years was reasonably clear. But it is more difficult to hold a similar view for 2018.
The Japanese equity market rose in December, with the TOPIX (w/dividends) climbing 1.57% on-month and the Nikkei 225 (w/dividends) rising 0.32%.
Our Senior Portfolio Manager for Emerging Markets in London forecasts that in 2018, this asset class could well match 2017’s achievement.
For 2018 and beyond, we see a story of central bank policy normalization and foresee the global economy growing in a similar fashion to how it did in 2017: low growth coupled with comparatively low inflation data.
We see the key investment themes to drive performance in Global Credit in 2018 to be similar to last year. We have developed our investment themes: Long US High Yield, Long Chinese Tier1 SOEs, Long European Hybrids, Long European Financials, Long Rising Stars.
We expect the economic backdrop for Asian credits to remain constructive in 2018, but remain cognizant of several risks including rising interest rates, robust supply, unexpected weakness in China, geopolitical developments and cross-asset volatility.
The global recovery is expected to continue, albeit at a more moderate pace. Meanwhile, we foresee policy normalisation and an acceleration of inflation in Asia.
China has not yet been fully incorporated into indices, creating a mismatch and a unique challenge to investors in navigating this new world order.
Despite geopolitical risks and central banks that will be less dovish than the market expects, the Global Investment Committee forecasts that the G-3 economies will grow faster than consensus and that global equity markets will remain very bullish in the intermediate term.
Low global inflation and, until recently, a strong Kiwi dollar have kept New Zealand’s inflation rate low over many years, however things may be about to change.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index returned 38.0% in USD terms year-to-date, on the back of a broad-based economic recovery. The Index outperformed the MSCI World Index, which rose 20.8% in USD terms in the same period.
US Treasury (UST) yields declined during the month. The nomination of Jerome Powell as the next US Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman overshadowed stronger US economic data, but was subsequently offset by increased geopolitical risks in the Middle East and a setback to US tax reform.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index returned 0.6% in USD terms in November. The index approached ten-year highs during the month on expectations of continuity in US Federal Reserve policy and robust economic data, but gains were pared at month-end by a sell-off in technology heavyweights.
The imminent party election will be crucial in determining this major Emerging Market’s future.
Having recently returned from the US, Stefan Hansen, Senior Research Analyst at Nikko AM Australia, shares his thoughts on US shale oil production and the potential impact on the oil price.
The implications of a surprising decline in non-manufacturers’ profit margin.
From an economic perspective Canada and Australia share some common features, but we would caution that the performance of the two economies is substantially different than generalisations would suggest.
Even as the situation in Germany to form a new government is difficult, financial markets have reacted very mildly to the uncertainties.
We think it is unlikely that May will be replaced within her own party. This is because there is a lack of an heir-apparent, and the Conservative Party would be extremely reluctant to even slightly increase the risk of another election.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index returned 4.7% in USD terms in October, outperforming the MSCI World Index which returned 1.9%.
US Treasuries (USTs) fell in October, as prospects of higher growth and inflation increased after the US Senate approved the Republican-backed budget for 2018.
The Japanese equity market rose in October, with the TOPIX (w/dividends) climbing 5.45% and the Nikkei 225 (w/dividends) rising 8.16%.
“Hopefully for the markets, the Fed transition will be smooth, but it might not be and hawkish Presidents may have much greater influence.”
Just as politics in other developed countries have recently taken on a more populist and/or anti-capitalist tone, so too has New Zealand’s.
The Case for Abenomics and global reflation leading to a TOPIX level of 2500 in two years’ time.
To help bridge the gap between the perceived unreliability of Chinese statistics and the importance of analysing the world’s second largest economy, we look for measures which have less potential to be manipulated.
Most bond index providers have started to recognize China’s financial market liberalisation and reform efforts. We think it is only a question of time before they are included in the main benchmark indices.
The Japanese equity market moved upwards in September, with the TOPIX (w/dividends) climbing 4.34% on-month and the Nikkei 225 (w/dividends) rising 4.28%.
A separate allocation to Asia IG offers European investors a way to mitigate risk within their EMD exposure.
US Treasuries declined in September, prompted by the possibility of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December and Trump's tax reform bill being passed by Congress.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index fell by 0.1% in US dollar (USD) terms, underperforming the MSCI AC World Index which returned 2.2%. Profit-taking and currency weakness relative to the USD pressured returns in September.
Our senior fixed income portfolio manager in Singapore explains why he is bullish on ASEAN currencies for the long-term.
Despite geopolitical risks and less dovish central banks, the Global Investment Committee remains moderately optimistic about the global economy and equity markets, while being cautious on global bonds.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the time it will take before the formation of a new government, we do not think there is risk of major policy change in Germany. The election outcome, however, will likely weigh on the aspirations of France’s Macron for deeper Eurozone integration.
Given the shifting dynamics in the region, for investors interested in Asian equities, there are multiple options depending upon the level of risk they are willing to assume. This paper looks at the outlook for several countries in Asia-Pacific.
When there are structural changes, simple data averaging often leads to wrong conclusions.
Investing in Japan is not the same as investing in Japanese companies. Given the increase in their overseas exposure, we believe it is a good time to revisit opportunities in Japanese companies.
The US Treasury (UST) market grinded higher in August. Rising tensions in the Korean peninsula and a lack of direction from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank on the outlook for monetary policy put pressure on US Treasury yields.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index rose by 1.3% in US dollar (USD) terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World Index and bringing year-to-date returns to 31.1%. This was the eighth straight month of positive returns.
“There was an upward surprise in the US CPI data today, with the CPI exceeding the month-on-month (MoM) consensus estimate”
“Although Mester and Yellen do not align closely with Trump’s values, they are at least professional central bankers and can likely be relied upon to drive a non-political, non-confrontational but most importantly a safe course for monetary policy and bank regulation.”
The release of the second quarter data on aggregate Japanese corporate profits confirms my twelve-year theme about improving corporate governance in Japan and how investors should not worry about the slow domestic economy.
Our London-based Global Credit Portfolio Manager lays out the scenarios of the upcoming German election and its ramifications for select German credits.
Our equity portfolio manager who specializes in India concludes that reforms should have a very positive effect on that country’s growth.
“Global investors and corporations should adhere to the model that political spats are no reason to get overly frightened or paralyzed.”
As China’s economic development enters a more sophisticated and mature phase, it is beginning to challenge many of the status quos that have been taken for granted since the middle of the 20th century.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index rose by 5.3% in US dollar (USD) terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World Index and bringing year-to-date returns to 29.4%.
US Treasury (UST) yields ended largely unchanged in July following soft US inflation print, dovish comments from the Federal Reserve and expectations of an autumn policy shift from the European Central Bank.