AUD was due a tactical re-bound; watch the AUDNZD

The AUD has been under strong pressure in the past 12-18 months. A slowing Chinese economy, an unwinding housing and mining boom and a dovish RBA have all been contributing factors. Many of these reasons are still valid reasons to be fundamentally negative on Australia, but as we have pointed out since the beginning of the year the AUD was due a tactical rebound.


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Thinking about retirement in the US

Gone are the days when financial advisory could boast the same professional stability as a well seated doctor or lawyer. Herding people through the door and offering them a standard 60/40 portfolio invested in the in-house equity and bond funds was a simple and lucrative business model but it does not work anymore. Competition and technical innovation have already changed the industry of professional personal investment advisory and it will be sure to effect radical change for years to come.


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Don’t blame EMs (too much) for the recent sell-off

Emerging markets are being blamed on just about all hiccups and bad surprises currently befalling the global economy and financial markets. However, this is slightly unwarranted and, in any case, not consistent with the evidence. Out of the 9 equity markets up on the month, Indonesia, Hungary, Peru, the Philippines and the Czech Republic are among them.


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A closer look at the decline in the US labour force participation rate

A recent piece by Ellyn Terry, an economist at the Atlanta Fed, provides important evidence and information on the drivers of the decline in the US labour force participation rate. The interesting aspect of this small study is that it breaks down the drivers on age groups which allows us to get a much closer look at the recent trends in the US labour force participation rate


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UK inflation to start rising again: linkers to outperform

UK inflation last week came back to the BoE’s target for the first time since 2009.  This should most certainly be a boon for consumers whose average real incomes have been negative for several years.  However, our UK Future Inflation…


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Old habits die hard in China as FX reserve growth surges

Investors welcomed the vow made last year by the new Chinese government to reform the economy through a clamp-down on shadow banking and excess liquidity as well as to commit to a strategy of re-balancing the economy. Still, it seems difficult for China to break out of its old ways. Data released this week consequently shows FX reserve growth in China surging towards the end of last year.


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Slipping rate differential is bearish for CAD

In October we wrote a report highlighting the bubble in Canadian housing and told clients that the currency in particular was under threat. A large current account deficit and the creeping expectations that the BoC might actually be forced into lowering rates have been key factors for a weaker currency.


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Variant Perception on the US labour market and the future course of Fed policy

simon white

Variant Perception’s editor Simon White spoke to BNN this morning about the future course of Fed policy and the US labour market. Highlights included the likelihood that the Fed will stay looser for longer as well as how the market may have overestimated the actual pace of tapering.


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High bar for further improvement in US manufacturing

The last seven months have seen an impressive improvement in US manufacturing. Almost all components of US manufacturing have been growing strongly and the US ISM has staged an impressive comeback from sub-50 in May last year to 57 in December. However, our growth diffusion index now implies the potential for short-term disappointment.


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The Fed and QE – An almost impossible balancing act

A nice series of articles from Bloomberg news alerts us to the fact that the Fed is anything but united when it comes to QE. There is consequently ongoing confusion, disagreement and general apprehension surrounding whether and how the Fed is supposed to end QE . Quite simply; the powers that be do not see eye to eye on this one and this is slightly worrying (if completely understandable).


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