“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge” John Naisbitt
News & Views
For many it was the warmest day of the year last Saturday and finally it appears the rather lengthy bout of cold weather may be at a close. With the weather – as with investments – the darkest hour is often before the dawn.
After nine glorious years US equity markets may have fallen off the escalator. It may be temporary and is probably quite healthy but other stock markets have followed suit. The trouble started at the end of January just when it looked like more gains as usual.
There is no doubt that a full-scale Trade War would be bad news for everyone. What is not clear, however, is whether the first joust à plaisance will make Messrs Trump and Xi get off their high horses and negotiate or fight à outrance.
Barclays (BARC) has had a rough few years with fines, CEO mistakes and a slashed dividend payment. Today the share trades below book value which is the stock markets way of saying that the trust quotient is low. However, matters may be changing.
We are not even at the end of the first quarter of the year and global financial markets have racked up two bouts of significant volatility.
A regular survey of the views of global investors managing collectively many hundreds of billions of Pound’s worth of assets has regularly shown over recent months that the most disliked major stock market of the world is…the UK.
Gavyn Davis and his colleagues at Fulcrum with their global Nowcast have been consistently more upbeat and more accurate than most forecasters of late and the latest batch of official data certainly does not contradict them.
Escalating trade protectionism is almost certainly what we should all be worrying about most and helps to explain the latest softness in equities.
If only it was possible with shares to adhere to the doctrine of ‘if it don’t go up, don’t buy it’ but life – and certainly the world of investments – is never that easy.
The bid for Sky (SKY) by the American media behemoth Comcast certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons for the sale of various 21st Century Fox assets to the Walt Disney group.