How flow can you go?
by Alex Harvey, CFA
After a bumper few months for equity markets, a recent report from Calastone, the global funds network, showed June was one of the worst months on record for outflows from UK equity funds. That follows positive UK market performance for each of April, May and June. The selling was broad based with even passive funds showing a rare negative flow print, so why the rush for the door and are investors cashing in their UK equity chips too early?
- US-China tensions rise, EU members agree firm recovery path
- Global Covid-19 cases top 15 million
- Brent crude rose 0.5% ending the week at $43.3 a barrel
- Gold rose 5.1% to $1902.0 an ounce as metals rallied
2020 – a rollercoaster ride
by James Klempster, CFA
How to sum up 2020 so far? A rollercoaster is probably the best way to describe it; both from an emotional perspective but also in terms of what the markets have been up to. Over the first quarter, market participants went from being blissfully ignorant to a state of panic as the significance of global lockdowns became apparent and investors were left wondering what the crisis would mean for the economy and companies; not to mention the humanitarian cost.
- Cases of Covid-19 have reached 14 million globally with over 600k fatalities
- The S&P 500 reached its highest intraday level since February
- Brent crude fell -0.2% ending the week at $43.1 a barrel
- Gold rose 0.7% to end the week at $1810.4 an ounce
by Michael Clough
The inexorable growth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) awareness has been impossible to ignore. Social criteria can be difficult to measure and they don’t necessarily lend themselves to quantitative metrics that environmental and governance matters might. Whilst simple screens may highlight certain ESG risks at a company. Critics have said the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic implications might push ESG discussions down the agenda once again with strong balance sheets and profits trumping attractive ESG scores. That certainly doesn’t look to be the case.
- Cases of Covid-19 have reached 12 million globally
- Key US technology benchmark reaches new all-time high
- Brent crude rose 1.0% ending the week at $43.2 a barrel
- Gold rose 1.5% to end the week at $1798.7 an ounce
Lessons from Japan
by Richard Stutley, CFA
The summer solstice, or ‘longest day of the year’, took place in the northern hemisphere just over two weeks ago, putting those of us that live here on a path of gradually shortening days towards winter. It’s not all bad news: July and August are typically the warmest months in the UK, but after that temperatures will also steadily decline. It remains to be seen whether, like other airborne viruses, COVID-19 is more infectious in winter, leading to a fresh spike in cases, but in any event we think the world is significantly better prepared for new waves and hence the impact should be smaller. Therefore, while acknowledging this risk to markets, it has not persuaded us to de-risk the portfolios further.
- Global manufacturing PMIs show signs of recovery
- The WHO reported a one-day high in global coronavirus infections over the weekend
- Brent crude rose 4.3% ending the week at $41.02 a barrel
- Gold ended the week flat at $1771.29 an ounce