24th June 2019
Battle of the ‘doves’
There were relatively few economic data or corporate announcements this week. The US came within a hair’s breadth of clearly carrying out an act of war against Iran. And the global stocks rose 2.25% during this week, with the US S&P500 index finishing Thursday back at its all-time high. Markets have regained a form of optimism; the combination of low growth expectations but a renewed confidence that the central bank gods will act and that their powers are undimmed.
Trump Round 2?
20,000 Donald Trump fans turned out this week in Florida to see the him announce his re-election campaign. Back in one of the key battleground states of his 2016 victory, fans flocked to listen to his 76-minute speech in what has become the signature Trump rally. Not only did the event have the look and feel of the rallies that invigorated Trump supporters in 2016, but the speech itself sounded as though it had been plucked from his 2016 campaign – sprinkled with a heavy dose of self-congratulation on his time in office so far.
Company earnings continue to feel the squeeze
At the mid-point of the year, it seems an appropriate juncture to review the outlook for company earnings in 2019. It has been well publicised that company margins are under pressure. Globalisation has supported margins for decades, particularly for US companies, but now protectionism, rising wages/input costs and the waning impact of last year’s fiscal stimulus pose a risk to peak margins.
Is Facebook’s Libra Coin the future of money?
This week, Facebook announced the 2020 launch of Libra coin – a blockchain-based digital currency they were long rumoured to have in development. The project promises to create a digital system of payments without reliance on traditional banks, and has already received significant industry support from some of the world’s major payment, technology and mobile companies.