Special Reports

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Special Report – Chinese debt potentially raising dark clouds on the horizon – analogies to Japan; who stands to lose the most?

Posted on November 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm GMT

International organizations including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been warning of dangerous debt levels in China. A debt crisis in the world’s second largest economy might seem like a frightening prospect for the rest of the world, however a closer look reveals that under the current state of affairs, one such crisis would mostly be of serious detriment to nations whose exports are heavily directed towards China, one such nation being major commodity exporter Australia. Not [..]

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Special Report – Trump tax plan likely to be dollar positive but hurdles remain before passage

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

As reform of the US tax code – a key campaign pledge of President Trump – gets closer to completing its passage in Congress, a possible clash between the Senate and the House threatens to derail it. The stakes are high as Congress’ approval of the tax reforms would represent the first legislative victory for President Trump since taking office. Market reaction has so far been muted as investors await the final version of the bill to assess how expansionary [..]

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Special Report – UK economy at important crossroads: Brexit and wider politics, inflation and interest rate decisions setting the outlook

Posted on November 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT

The UK economy’s resilience to the Brexit vote did not continue into 2017 as largely upbeat economic releases following last year’s vote did not manage to maintain momentum with economic activity eventually slowing down. Meanwhile, June 2016’s vote shock led to sterling depreciating versus other currencies, pushing inflation higher. Inflation is growing at a faster pace than wage growth resulting in consumers’ reduced purchasing power. This is negatively affecting spending patterns. The Bank of England proceeded with a rate rise [..]

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Investment Theme – Euro correction deepens as political risks resurface

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT

The euro has stumbled upon some unexpected headwinds during the past month, taking some of the heat off the currency’s incredible rally this year. Soon after peaking at a 32-month high of $1.2092 on September 8, the euro entered a corrective phase, triggered by a more cautious-than-anticipated European Central Bank at its policy meeting on September 7. Expectations that the ECB would begin the process of winding down its massive stimulus program, receding political uncertainty after the French elections, as [..]

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Investment Theme – Investors remain negative on sterling despite hitting 1-year high against the dollar

Posted on September 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

Expectations that the Bank of England will take a more hawkish stance at its policy meeting this week have lifted sterling from two-month lows ploughed at the end of August, offsetting concerns about a slowing economy and a lack of progress in the Brexit negotiations. Stronger-than-expected inflation data on Tuesday fuelled those expectations as UK consumer prices rose by an annual rate of 2.9% in August, just shy of the BoE’s upper limit of 3%, at which point the Governor [..]

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Investment Theme – New Zealand dollar rally under threat from rising political risks

Posted on September 6, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

The New Zealand dollar had surged by around 10% between May’s 2017 low point and July’s two-year high, making it one of the better performing currencies of the year against the US dollar. However, central bank unease about the strength of the currency, downgrades to the government’s growth forecasts and an unexpectedly tight election race have derailed the rally. Even as the New Zealand economy enjoys strong growth and a huge government surplus, the kiwi has stumbled upon some unexpected [..]

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Investment Theme – As dollar reaches bottom of range again, investors await direction from Fed and White House

Posted on August 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm GMT

Despite a series of significant uptrends and downtrends since March, the US dollar has largely been bound within a trading range of between 115 and 108 against the Japanese yen for much of the year. Growing doubts about the Fed’s ambitious projections of one more rate increases in 2017 and three hikes in 2018 have weighed on the yield of 10-year Treasury notes, which peaked at 2.629% in March and currently stand around 2.185%. However, another factor in putting an [..]

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Investment Theme – German, Italian exports most exposed to strengthening euro, Netherlands cushioned

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 9:34 am GMT

In times of a strengthening euro, the region’s exporters could be hurt as sales generated outside of the eurozone may translate poorly back into earnings reports denoted in euros. The biggest export countries with the least exposure to the single currency zone could be dented the most. Germany and Italy are some of the world’s largest exporters, yet they have the smallest amount of exports delivered within the eurozone. By contrast, the Netherlands outperforms them with more than 50% of revenues generated [..]

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Investment Theme – Mixed UK data and Brexit uncertainty cloud outlook for sterling

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

After being criticised by EU officials for turning up at the negotiating table unprepared, the UK has this week published its most comprehensive vision yet of a post-Brexit relationship with the bloc. The British government published yesterday its first policy paper on a future customs agreement with the European Union, and is due to soon release a paper on Northern Ireland and its border arrangements with the Irish Republic. The paper calls for a new customs partnership with the EU [..]

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Investment Theme – Has Swissie bid goodbye to its highs for good?

Posted on August 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT

After two years of relative stability, the safe-haven swiss franc came into the spotlight again when it came under pressure against the euro last week and broke out of its long-term range. The much-desired weakness will likely be welcome by the Swiss National Bank which longs for a more export-competitive currency. However, the swissie remains “overvalued” as the level of risk aversion in the markets remains quite high despite investors’ rising appetite for riskier assets.  The question arising now is [..]

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