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The Site has been approved for issue in the UK by Harrison Rowe Financial Planning Limited trading as Harrison Rowe Private Wealth. Harrison Rowe Financial Planning is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), and is entered on the Financial Services Register with the firm reference number 208467.
Harrison Rowe Financial Planning is part of a global group of businesses known asThe Harrison Rowe Group. Harrison Rowe Financial Planning Limited is registered in England and is established at 56, Wentworth Road, Blacker Hill, Barnsley, United Kingdom, S74 0RP, which is its registered office.
Unless otherwise stated in relevant sections of the website, this website is targeted at investors who are generally classified as qualified, professional, accredited or institutional. The information contained in this website is directed only at persons in a country or jurisdiction where access to the information and the use thereof is not contrary to local law or regulation. It is your responsibility to be aware of and to observe all applicable laws and regulations of any relevant jurisdiction when accessing the information contained in this website. In particular, no offer or invitation is made to any US persons (being residents of the United States of America or partnerships or corporations organised under the laws of the United States of America or any state, territory or possession thereof), who are excluded from the services, funds and products included in this site. There will be no public offering of services, funds and products in the United States.
The services, funds and products will not generally be available to U.S. Persons.
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In these Terms
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Changes to our Terms
You acknowledge that we may amend these Terms from time to time, at our sole discretion. If we elect to amend these Terms, the revised version will be posted on the Site. You undertake to check the Site regularly for any changes we may have made since your last visit to the Site, since any such changes will be binding on you. By using the Site after we have changed or amended these Terms, you acknowledge that you will be accepting those changes or amendments.
These Terms & Conditions were last updated on 6th February 2019.
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The Content, including layout, of this Site or products or services available via this Site may be wholly or partially suspended, withdrawn or changed at any time.
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Weekly Market Update February Sunday 23rd 2020
Mixed week for markets despite encouraging economic indicators & expectations for Chinese stimulus
It has been a mixed week for markets, with equity markets on course to record their first weekly loss in a month. This is despite rising expectations for Chinese authorities to increasingly focus on reviving their economy post the outbreak of the coronavirus and the release of reassuring leading economic indicators from the Eurozone and the UK. The softness in markets may be explained by a cluster of new coronavirus cases in Beijing and South Korea. Or it may simply be an air of caution, following the markets rallying hard over the past month. Investors have focused on loose monetary policy from central banks and the knowledge that previous coronavirus epidemics have tended to be buying opportunities rather than a reason to panic.
As of 12 pm London time, US equities are down 0.21% over the week, whilst US technology stocks are up 0.2%. This is despite Apple warning this week that the supply of iPhones will be temporarily constrained, as Chinese factories take longer than expected to get back up to speed following the outbreak of the virus. This impacted several technology companies in the Apple supply chain. European equities are down 0.1%, whilst UK equities gained 0.2%. Australian equities climbed 0.1%, whilst Japanese equities fell 1.7%, as the latest GDP data suggested that Japan is on course for a technical recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Japanese growth has been hit by both the coronavirus and the increase in consumption tax in the final quarter of last year. Emerging markets are down 1%, although domestic Chinese equities were up 4.2% for the week, erasing all the losses from the country’s biggest one-day sell-off in more than four years at the beginning of February.
Government bonds nudged up in price over the week, with the 10-year US Treasury now yielding 1.49%, German Bunds minus 0.43% and UK Gilts 0.59%. Gold rose over 3% to its highest level in seven years, now trading at $1,637 an ounce. Gold is being supported by fears over the coronavirus and increasingly, views being expressed by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) that interest rates will remain on hold for the foreseeable future, even if inflation edges above their 2% target rate.
The oil price rose 1.5%, with Brent crude trading at $58.2 a barrel and US WTI (West Texas Intermediate) $52.9 a barrel. However, the copper price, considered by many as a leading indicator as to the health of the global economy, fell 0.7% over the week.
Chinese authorities increasingly look to revive the economy
At the start of the week, the People’s Bank of China cut rates by 0.1%, signalling to markets that the authorities are increasingly looking to restart the Chinese economy following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Japan comes unstuck once more following a rise in consumption tax
This news did little to support Japan, as fourth-quarter GDP numbers were released showing the economy contracted by 1.6%, or 6.3% annualised, following a hike in consumption tax. This was despite Prime Minister Abe introducing a number of stimulus measures designed to prevent a repeat of the growth setback in 2014, the last time consumption tax was increased. The tax, equivalent to VAT, increased by 2% on this occasion, up to 10%, triggering a fall in consumption at an annualised rate of 11%. In recent years, Chinese tourism to Japan has become increasingly important, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Chinese tourism has all but ceased, leaving the country facing the second quarter of weak growth.
Further encouraging US lead indicators
Encouraging economic data continued to be released from the US, with the Empire State manufacturing survey, released by the New York Fed, exceeding forecasts and recording the highest level since May of last year.
Eurozone PMI strongest since February 2019
It was a similar story for the Eurozone, with the manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index), considered a lead indicator as to the health of the manufacturing sector, coming in ahead of forecasts at 49.1. This was still below 50, the dividing level between contraction and expansion, however, it was the highest level since February 2019. The slower pace of decline was due to stronger domestic orders in Germany, whilst overseas orders fell away markedly.
UK earnings finally exceed pre-crisis levels for the first time in twelve years
The UK’s flash composite PMI was released for February, coming in at 53.3, the same level as in January, but giving confidence that the UK economy is consolidating post the weakness in the final quarter of last year. UK inflation rose for the first time in six months, with CPI (consumer price inflation) coming in at 1.8%, a significant jump from the 1.3% annual rise in December. However, this remains below the Bank of England’s target of 2%. Wage growth data released this week revealed a slowing down in wage inflation, with average weekly earnings increasing by 2.9% annually, including bonuses. However, once this was adjusted for inflation, and with bonuses excluded, it was still enough to lift the level of earnings above their pre-financial crisis peak for the first time in twelve years. Although earnings are still below pre-crisis levels if bonuses are included. The employment rate, the share of working-age people in work, rose to 76.5%, the highest level since records began in 1971. Whilst unemployment, defined as those looking for work, remained at 3.8%. All in all, despite the continued noise from Brexit since the referendum in 2016, the UK economy has remained remarkably resilient.
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