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As November draws to a close, global stock markets have provided a positive last week to an otherwise bleak month for investors. And as it stands, it is not just October and November but the whole of 2018 that has turned into a disappointment for investors across almost all asset classes. According to a study by US investment bank JP Morgan none of the 17 major asset classes (equities, fixed interest bonds, etc.) has outperformed the rate of inflation – something that has not happened since they started tracking these figures in 1992.

Markets unmoved by Carney carnage
This next couple of weeks will be ones for UK history books. Theresa May’s Brexit deal faces an uphill battle when Parliament begins debate on Monday. Several MPs and one former Prime Minister have already declared it dead before it’s even hit the floor of the commons. As things stand, neither Parliament’s Brexiteers nor Remainers see the deal as a happy compromise, and both camps seem to think that they can use its potential defeat to push forward their own preferred outcome.

Powell deflects or genuflects?
The Independence of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is under attack. That’s the line that many a financial commentator has been pushing throughout Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency. Even in the run-up to the election two years ago, Trump never shied away from making his thoughts known. And during his stay in the White House, he has – with a tweet here and public speech there – exerted pressure on the central bank. And in the latest speech from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, it looks to many as though that pressure is working.

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