Imperium Capital Publication

Weekly Digest – 13 August 2017

  • Oil prices finished the week -0.6% with Brent standing at USD 51.8
  • Gold was up 2.4% and silver was up 4.9% on the week
  • Global government bond yields continue to fall
  • Bitcoin breaks the $4000 barrier
  • Global markets react to rising tensions between US and North Korea

Weekly Digest – 30 July 2017

  • US GDP growth rebounds from disappointing Q1 growth
  • Federal Reserve indicates imminent balance sheet normalisation
  • US Senate begins healthcare legislation debate
  • Brent crude rises 9.3% following Saudi export cuts
  • Greece returns to the sovereign debt market after three year hiatus

Viewpoint – July 2017

The changes in tone from central banks drove global financial markets in June. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank appear unlikely to follow the path of the Federal Reserve in hiking rates this year. Political uncertainties in the UK grew in June following the Conservative party failing to achieve a majority just weeks before the beginning of already uncertain Brexit negotiations. In addition, questions linger over US economic policy and the ability to implement legislation.

Economic prospects in the Euro Area appear to be improving with GDP growth up to 2% this year, although inflation remains below target. The US has continued to grow, with an annual GDP growth rate of around 2%, whilst the UK has outperformed post-Brexit expectations, albeit with signs of a slowdown ahead. Emerging markets have benefitted from loose global monetary policy conditions and accelerating growth. In turn this has benefitted corporate profits, with earnings rising above the stagnant conditions of the past 2 years, up over 10% year-to-date in the US, and beyond this in Europe and Japan.

Weekly Digest – 23 July 2017

  • US equities advance to all-time highs
  • Bank of Japan revises inflation target deadline
  • Euro surges 1.8% versus US Dollar, spurred by ECB meeting
  • US Healthcare reforms quashed by lack of congressional support
  • US Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigns

Weekly Digest – 16 July 2017

  • Oil prices rose 4.7% on the week with Brent standing at USD49 a barrel
  • Gold rose 1.4% to 1228.5
  • MSCI All-Country World Index set an all-time high for the week closing at 473.78
  • More evidence of strength in the global jobs market


Weekly Digest – 9 July 2017

  • Oil prices declined just over 2.5% last week
  • Drop in global government bonds accelerated
  • G20 summit shows the divide between the US and others
  • UN security council hold an emergency session in response to North Korea
  • Global stocks jumped and are still at near record high


Weekly Digest – 2 July 2017

  • Oil prices climb around 5% last week
  • Volatility makes a comeback moving to 10.9 on the VIX index
  • Global equities trading near record highs
  • Technology stocks under pressure with continued sell offs
  • Central banks adopt a hawkish tone  around fiscal tightening


Weekly Digest – 18 June 2017

  • UK and US inflation figures miss expectations
  • Federal Reserve increases Funds rate
  • US economic data softer than expected
  • Bank of England votes 5-3 to hold the base rate
  • French party En Marche! secure convincing parliamentary majority

Viewpoint – June 2017

The benign conditions that have prevailed in markets through the past six months continued into May, with most risk assets producing positive returns. Equity markets again produced the best returns, led by the UK, Europe (especially peripheral markets) and Asia, but bond markets also made solid progress, as yields drifted lower and credit benefitted from a favourable corporate backdrop. Perhaps the most notable features, however, were a further slide in the US dollar, which fell 2.2% in May on a trade weighted basis, taking its fall to 6.1% from its early January peak and reversing all of the post election surge; as well as a further drop in the oil price in the face of stubbornly high global inventory levels and evidence of surging oil shale production in the US. Also notable was the continuation of extraordinarily low levels of volatility across markets, with the VIX ‘fear’ index hovering at ten year lows, punctuated only very briefly in May by concerns that the Russia/Trump scandal could lead to a further weakening of the President and his ability to implement some of his reflationary and business friendly policies and even lead to his impeachment.