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By accessing this website (the ‘Site’), you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (the ‘Terms’). Before using this Site, you should read carefully the Terms, our Cookie Policy and also our Privacy & Security Statement. If you do not agree to these Terms & Conditions, please do not make use of this Site.

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.

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In these Terms

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From this Site we may provide information or hyperlinks to other websites or pages provided by other entities within the Harrison Rowe Group (‘Local Sites’) and other parties. Your use of Local Sites and other parties’ sites may be subject to their own terms and conditions. You should read them.

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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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These Terms are governed by and are to be interpreted in accordance with the laws of UK.

The courts in England and Wales will have non-exclusive jurisdiction in respect of any dispute which may arise in connection with the Terms or your use of this Site.

Weekly Market Update June 2nd 2019

Gloom pervades markets

Gloom pervades markets

Growing trade tensions between the US and China has led to continued weakness in global equity markets this week, as President Trump tweeted that he was in no rush to sign a trade agreement with China. Seemingly in response, China’s powerful planning body mooted using rare earths as a negotiating tool, a group of seventeen metals of which China dominates global supply, that are critical for the manufacture of many high-technology products. Late on Thursday, not content with a trade war with China, President Trump announced the imposition of a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports effective from the 10th June, rising to 25% by the 1st October, to pressure its neighbour to halt an influx of illegal migrants crossing the border between the two countries. Finally, on Friday, only adding to the gloom, the latest Chinese PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) manufacturing index, a lead indicator as to the health of the manufacturing sector, came in at a level just beneath 50, indicating contraction.

The US S&P 500 equity index fell 1.3% over the week as of 12 pm on Friday, London time. The EuroStoxx 600 fell 2.5%, the UK’s FTSE All Share fell 1.8%, the Japanese Topix fell 1.9%, and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.9%. Counter-intuitively Emerging Markets rose 0.8%, with the Chinese Shanghai Composite rising 1.6% and the Brazilian Ibovespa rising 4.1%, despite Brazil recording the country’s first quarterly GDP contraction since 2016, as investors bet that government and central banks will take steps to prevent a further slowdown in growth.

Haven assets rally

Haven assets rally

The rally in haven assets took the government bond yield on the 10-year US Treasuries to 2.17%, making it cheaper to borrow over the longer term than the very short term, with the 3-month Treasury bill currently yielding 2.35%. An inverted yield curve has historically been a good indicator of an impending recession within the next 6 to 18 months. However, the 2-year Treasury yield has yet to invert, remaining just below that of the 10-year at 2.00%, but nonetheless it has added to a sense of anxiety in markets. The yield on UK gilts fell to 0.87%, as the UK continues to suffer from its problems over the failure of the governing Conservative party to deliver on Brexit, and the uncertainties of a leadership contest post the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May last week. German bund yields got as low as negative 0.21%, surpassing all previous records.

Industrial commodities weaken

Industrial commodities weaken

Most commodities sold off over the week over concerns of a slowing global economy, except for gold that rose 0.9%, to trade at $1,301 an ounce. Brent crude oil is down 5.5% over the week, trading at $64.9 a barrel, which is a fall of just over 10% over the month of May.

Issues under discussion

Issues under discussion

Markets continue to be concerned about the slowdown in global growth, not helped by the US China trade war, and the never-ending Brexit saga, both of which will be delaying company investment decisions in the face of uncertainty. This has been further compounded by markets pricing in an interest rate cut as the next move by the US Federal Reserve (Fed), supported by continued weakness in reported inflation numbers. However, so far the Fed has been content to sit on its hands whilst it continues to believe that it is a finely balanced decision as to whether the next move in rates is up or down. It may be that, as in December of last year, it is the equity markets that have to put pressure on the Fed to make a move through further price falls. Similarly, Trump will be keen to broker a deal with China ahead of a US presidential election, yet he is not in an immediate hurry whilst it is scheduled for November of next year. The volatility in markets that we have experienced over the last year and a half looks set to stay.

Portfolio changes

Portfolio changes

Consequently, within our portfolios we have maintained a balanced approach, holding a neutral weight to equities and continuing to look for strategies that will provide less volatile outcomes.  To this end, we have added a holding in the Polar Capital Global Insurance fund to the portfolios, as the insurance industry is less cyclically exposed than many other sectors, as companies and individuals continue to buy insurance protection even during downturns.  To fund this position, we have reduced our equity positions across all of our other equity holdings, with the exception of UK equities, which we consider to be cheap already due to the uncertainties created by Brexit.

Within the portfolios constructed with ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), we have invested in a global minimum volatility ETF as an alternative to the Polar Capital Global Insurance fund, and once again, to fund this position, we have sold down all other equity holdings except for UK equities.

As reported last week, the volatility overlay on Smartfunds has leveraged down our market exposure to an underweight position for the Cautious, Balanced and Growth funds.