As an active manager, we believe that insight and understanding are the keys to investment success.Some of the biggest factors moving markets today are the shifting monetary policies of central banks and the changing political landscape. Our investment experts help you understand what it all means for our investment outlook and what it could mean for your portfolio.
With the Fed having largely achieved its objectives of full employment and price stability, we expect short-term rates to stay unchanged at the FOMC’s next meeting. This should be good for investors, but don’t rule out a rate hike by the end of the year if inflation surges, or if tariff- or Brexit-related risks recede.
Changes in the euro zone’s economy have raised expectations that the central bank will be more precise at its next meeting about what’s causing the slowdown. We think the ECB will continue delaying rate hikes while also announcing a new liquidity program for banks.
The European Central Bank’s gradual normalisation of its monetary policy should continue, but the economic slowdown in the euro-zone will likely delay any rate increases, and the window of opportunity is becoming increasingly narrow.
Fed Chairman Powell learned the hard way that his comments, even those made outside of official Fed communications channels, can move markets. The Fed is on a mission to make itself less important in the decision-making of savers, investors, consumers and governments.
A host of US economic issues – from trade tensions to a flattened yield curve – has drastically reduced expectations of rate hikes after the FOMC’s December meeting. Yet the Fed sees a healthy US economy and may announce it is forging ahead, which could catch investors off guard and trigger volatility.
As the European Central Bank continues the very gradual normalisation of its monetary policy, we expect it will soon announce the wrap-up of its bond-buying programme. But this won’t signal the end of its accommodation: the central bank has multiple tools at its disposal to carry out its duties.
Although the Democrats now control half of the US Congress, we believe President Trump’s economic agenda is unlikely to be significantly altered. A divided government could also give equities a bounce, particularly now that election-related uncertainty has been removed.
The strong economic foundation in the US continues to validate the Fed’s trajectory, despite the increased risk-aversion recently seen in the markets. As a result, we expect the FOMC to stay on its path, free from political pressure, and continue monetary-policy normalisation.