This year started with the bull market that began in 2009 still going strong. While there was no lack of voices raising concerns about valuations looking pricey, particularly in the US market, other commentators pointed to parts of the world that were supposedly on the up. However, for a while in 2018 the reverse appeared to be true.
The UK has had a good summer. In economic terms, so has the global economy, which has enjoyed strong growth for nearly 10 years. However, as the nights draw in and the leaves start to fall, investors know that just as the seasons inevitably change, economic expansions end. There is nothing particularly troubling in the latest economic data, but some investors are considering how to prepare for gloomier days.
The strength of the dollar coupled with president Donald Trump’s sabre-rattling soap opera on trade war has put our panel of asset allocators more on the defensive. The global growth numbers remain too strong to persuade any of them to call an end to the long bull market in equities. But cash levels in their portfolios are rising, and the average score for global bonds (mostly US Treasury bonds) has edged higher.
As we enter the third quarter of 2018, there are three main areas of concern for investors, according to JPMorgan Asset Management’s latest quarterly Guide to the Markets.
The first: how long can the US economic expansion last?
Despite apparently benign market conditions, our panellists have become more cautious in their outlook.
Over the past week the biggest names in business and finance descended upon the small Swiss town of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum.
Despite upbeat forecasts for most of the world, major uncertainties abound.We assess the outlook for global markets.
The eurozone should see its fastest pace of growth since 2007, while North Korea remains in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Our experts’ regional predictions for 2017 have proved broadly correct – although Europe did better than expected.