Alfie the Guide Dog

Alfie the Guide Dog came to visit everyone at Trafford & Houghton last week!

Guide Dogs for the Blind is our chosen charity for the year.

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Market Review – March/April 2019

It was apparent at the end of Q1 that there had been a major recovery in asset markets after the challenges of the final quarter of 2018.

Global

  • Global equity markets saw their largest quarterly gains since 2010.
  • Hopes for progress in US-China trade talks and optimism around US interest rates bolstered returns.
  • Markets climbed despite concerns over the health of the global economy.

UK

  • The UK equity market provided a positive return during March, which continued the upward trend following the first two months of the year.
  • Brexit continued to dominate headlines as we approached the UK’s original exit date of 29 March 2019.
  • The Chancellor’s Spring statement highlighted the UK’s “robust” economy despite political uncertainty.

US

  • By the end of March, the US equity market capped the best quarter since 2009.
  • Hopes for a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies drove the US equity market higher.
  • Optimism around the Fed’s decision not to raise interest rates this year provided a further boost to markets.

Europe

  • European equity markets rallied for the third consecutive month.
  • Eurozone Composite PMI (Purchasing Managers Index – which measures the productivity and therefore health of the economy) for March dropped, raising doubts of a recovery.
  • Germany’s 10-year Bund yield fell below 0% for the first time since 2016

Asia

  • Asian equity markets ended March higher on US-China trade talks.
  • Indian equities enjoy a pre-election rally, reversing earlier performance.
  • China continued positive momentum on trade, improving the macroeconomic outlook.

Emerging Markets

  • Asia, led by India, drove performance in emerging markets.
  • Turkey was the weakest performer due to political concerns ahead of the local elections.
  • Brazil was held back by weak economic activity data.

Fixed Interest

  • Corporate bonds delivered another month of strong performance.
  • The European Central Bank announced measures designed to stimulate the eurozone economy.
  • The US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank continued their pivot toward more accommodative policy to encourage economic growth.

Market Review – January/February 2019 (Part 3)

Asia

  • Asian equity markets reversed year-end declines to close January higher despite lower 2019 corporate earnings forecasts.
  • China and Korea shrugged off trade concerns to lead performance in the region, with ASEAN markets including Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia also posting strong returns.
  • January saw China emerge as the best performing market in the region on the back of easing trade tensions and indications from the central government of plans to stimulate the economy further.
  • India was the worst performer over January, with autos, auto parts, machinery and equipment, cement and steel particularly affected.

Emerging Markets

  • Global emerging equity markets enjoyed a strong start to the year with all regions registering gains. Latin America led the advance, followed by EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
  • The US dollar lost ground against a basket of emerging market currencies as the US Federal Reserve put
  • further US interest rate rises on hold and signalled flexibility on running down its balance sheet (decreasing the money supply – quantitative tightening).
  • Brazil was the best performing equity market in Latin America, driven higher by favourable economic and political developments.

Market Review – January/February 2019 (Part 2)

Europe

  • The large sell-off seen in December was largely reversed as 2019 got off to a flying start with European equity markets rallying.
  • All areas of the market, apart from Communication Services, posted positive returns in January – with the best performing sectors being Real Estate, Consumer Discretionary, and Information Technology.
  • In the latest European Central Bank press conference, the bank maintained its
  • commitment to leave interest rates unchanged “at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary” – we think that they will change their forward guidance in March to explicitly state that interest rates will not change until 2020.
  • Italy fell into a technical recession after the economy shrank by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018, following a 0.1% decline in the third quarter. The recession appears to have been due to a combination of some temporary issues and other potentially longer lasting issues.

US

  • The US equity market posted its best month in three years in January and its best January since 1987.
  • The US Federal Reserve (Fed) said it would put further interest rate increases on hold.
  • There was optimism over US-China trade negotiations.

Market Review – January/February 2019 (Part 1)

2019 has started with significantly more resistance than 2018, as markets continue to rebound from their rocky fourth quarter. But while some risk appetite appears to have returned to the investment landscape, this uplift is extremely nascent, and a number of challenges still remain.

Global

  • January was the best month for the global equity markets in more than seven years.
  • Markets were boosted by strong corporate earnings results across the board.

UK

  • UK equity markets rose over the course of January, providing the first month of positive returns since the third quarter of 2018.
  • The heightened political tension that has characterised recent months continued in to the new year, as the deadline for Britain’s exit from the European Union draws closer. In January the House of Commons voted twice on the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement. In the first vote, MPs voted-down the bill by an historic margin. However, two weeks later the Prime Minister succeeded in securing MPs backing, subject to material amendments to the backstop arrangement proposed by the agreement.
  • Sterling enjoyed an increase in value versus the US dollar despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
  • The UK’s high-street retailers continued to dominate headlines amid ongoing challenging market condition.

Fixed Interest

  • It was a positive start to 2019 for corporate bond markets.
  • Given the market’s attraction towards riskier assets, government bonds were generally weaker, with both Bunds and Treasuries delivering negative returns. Gilt returns, on the other hand, were positive and spent the month trading in line with expectations over Brexit.
  • Significantly stronger than expected, US employment data set the tone early in the month. Non-farm payrolls (the widely watched monthly US employment statistic) showed that the US had generated 128,000
  • more jobs in December 2018 than expected.
  • Financial markets started to think that a ’no deal’ Brexit had been taken off the table. This helped sterling denominated assets to rally.

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS

merry-christmas-wallpaper-hd-download-free

Our Christmas opening hours are as follows:

Friday 21st December 2018: 8.00am – 14.30pm

Monday 24th December 2018: Closed

Tuesday 25th December 2018: Closed

Wednesday 26th December 2018: Closed

Thursday 27th December 2018: Closed

Friday 28th December 2018: Closed

Monday 31st December 2018: Closed

Tuesday 1st January 2019: Closed

Wednesday 2nd January 2019: 8.00am – 17:00pm (Normal office hours)

We would like to wish our clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you for your continued support.

Summer Newsletter

Please find below a copy of our annual newsletter, which we hope you will find of interest.

Newsletter

Topics covered in this edition are:

  1. What does retirement planning mean for you?

How to manage your money and budget for the lifestyle you want to lead

  1. Inheritance tax – where are we now?

An update on IHT – many believe an overhaul is required

  1. Is it time to let the ‘dogs’ out?

Taking a look at the terminology ‘dog fund’ and why regular reviews are key

  1. Drawdown – a popular choice, but advice is essential

As more retirees select the option, here we focus on understanding the risks

  1. The rise of the part-time pensioner

Taking a look at the changing shape of retirement

  1. Protecting the elderly from financial abuse

With scammers on the increase, here we focus on how to protect your interests

  1. Paying for life when you reach 100

With an increased number of us needed daily care – how are we going to make ends meet?

  1. Dividend rise for shareholders

Shareholders have benefited as corporate profitability rises

Should you have any queries or require more information on any of the articles or any other financial matter, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01772 825755.