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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, January 2022

    In the US and Europe, the new year has begun with a huge wave of workplace absenteeism due to surging omicron Covid cases. In China, policymakers are adopting a whack-a-mole approach to multiple Covid outbreaks, while other emerging economies are curtailing market opening measures. Our team outline their base case views for growth, inflation and markets in 2022.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Labor Market, The Fed And Asset Prices

    The first week of January drove home the extent to which investors and the US Federal Reserve have both lost faith in the “transitory inflation” story. The US unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in December—tight by any standard. As a result, investors have concluded that the Fed cannot stay loose forever, and that tightening is likely sooner rather than later.

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Case For US Bank Stocks

    As the Federal Reserve dials back its quantitative easing program, the US economy is back to relying on banks as the main agents of credit creation. And as US yields move higher, Will is convinced that large-cap bank stocks offer one of the best bets in the US market. In this video interview, he explains why.

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    Gavekal Research

    US Equity Transitions

    Despite huge supply chain disruption, rising inflation and a more-hawkish-than-expected central bank, the S&P 500 index rose a whopping 27% last year and along the way suffered a maximum fall of -5%. Going into 2022, investors may conclude that US equities have hit “escape velocity” and nothing will spoil the rally.

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    Gavekal Research

    Never Mind The Fed Hawks

    Even as the Federal Reserve chairman went out of his way to sound hawkish on Wednesday, risk assets rallied. On the basis that truth often hides in plain sight, the most obvious explanation is that the Fed had well telegraphed an accelerated taper to its asset purchases from US$15bn a month to US$30bn. A faster wind-down to the quantitative easing program means the Fed will be unencumbered in hiking interest rates sooner, if needed. That is a...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The US Infrastructure Conundrum

    As the central bank pulls away the punch bowl and the fiscal authorities push for a boozy top-up to give the party fresh impetus, the US economy faces an odd moment. With inflation near a 40-year high, opposition to the Biden administration’s sprawling US$1.75trn “Build Back Better” bill is partly focused on its inflationary impact. Critics point to the White House’s infrastructure spending program, passed last month, as having already given an...

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    Gavekal Research

    Money Supply, Reconsidered

    Money sits at the heart of the economy and financial markets. At a time when inflation is taking off and the US Federal Reserve is starting to scale back its money printing, investors badly need a single reliable gauge of US money supply—not a dozen or more. In this report, Will offers a new measure of money supply that he believes is suitable for today’s conditions.

    19
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The State Of The US Economy

    With US inflation way above target, the Federal Reserve is considering a faster than initially planned wind down to its asset purchases. In this video interview, Will examines the US’s inflationary dynamic and assesses the impact that a renewed Covid outbreak could have on the growth outlook and markets.

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    Gavekal Research

    Trading Omicron

    Fear is stalking markets on concerns that the global economy could be hit by an Omicron Covid outbreak and the world’s central bank will not ride to the rescue. Comments by Jay Powell yesterday on a faster-than-planned taper to the Federal Reserve’s asset purchases added to the bad brew for risk assets. This sell-off reminds that despite recent calm conditions, highly-valued US equities are prone to sudden volatility. There are reasons to think...

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    Gavekal Research

    The Economics Of Covid Divergence

    Even before omicron showed up, European governments had reacted to high Covid case loads with demand-sapping limits on travel and social activity. In the US, by contrast, most Covid restrictions continue to be focused on what can be generalized as the economy’s supply side. The betting must be that this divergence of approaches remains—and is even reinforced by omicron.

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    Gavekal Research

    When Risk Appetite Returns

    Whenever a currency crisis engulfs an emerging economy, investors nervously look around for the next shoe to drop. After the meltdown this week in the Turkish lira—down -20% in November; -40% year-to-date—precedents from the Asian crisis of 1997-98 to the 2013 taper tantrum suggest contagion might be about to spread to infect the rest of the emerging currency complex. However, despite the broad strength of the US dollar and steep falls in a...

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    Biden's Fed Picks

    President Joe Biden took the path of least resistance in nominating Jay Powell to serve a second term as Federal Reserve chair. It reinforces my view that macro policy will be driven more by changes in the economic data than changes in Fed leadership. At the sectoral level, these appointments should be positive for US bank stocks.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Real Yield Mystery

    One of Will’s key calls for 2021 was that real yields on US treasuries would rebound from their deeply negative levels. But despite the news of Fed tapering, real yields have remained stubbornly low. Here, Will examines a number of factors that may be offsetting the expected effect of tapering and concludes investors should be wary a rise in real yields on treasuries.

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    Gavekal Research

    Making Sense Of Bond Market Moves

    The last month has seen a number of major shifts occur in the US treasury market which may well be leaving investors scratching their heads over how to interpret them, especially as some appear at first to be conflicting. On examination, however, the market is sending four clear messages. They are consistent with each other. But that does not mean they are all right.

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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Conflicting Signals In US Consumption

    The US recorded continued strong retail sales growth in October. But more forward-looking surveys are showing a deep deterioration in consumer sentiment as gasoline prices have risen to seven-year highs, acting as an effective tax on households’ discretionary spending power. In this video interview, KX weighs these conflicting forces to assess the outlook for US consumer demand in 2022.

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    Gavekal Research

    Don’t Panic, But Do Be Wary

    On Monday, Anatole argued that Markets Are Right To Ignore The Inflation Panic. His case is that favorable base effects and more moderate demand growth now that the initial reopening boom is over mean headline inflation rates will moderate significantly next year. As a result, the current elevated inflation rates will prove largely transient, rendering an aggressive monetary policy response unnecessary. This benign scenario is possible, but I...

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Inflation’s Medium-Term Cure

    After consumer price inflation in October topped forecasts, it is clear that the US economy is running hot. And as workers embrace the “great resignation” rather than seek fresh work, the US labor market is tight. Still, my inflationary glass has tended to be half-full on the basis that improved US capital spending should ultimately help fix the economy’s supply side.

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    Gavekal Research

    Hedging A Tighter US Economy

    After October’s payroll report came in strong on Friday, the S&P 500 hit a new high. On Saturday, the House Of Representatives was corralled into passing the Biden administration’s delayed infrastructure bill and there is a good chance of the “reconciliation bill” becoming law. Given such boosts to demand, US equity investors could be forgiven for expecting smooth sailing ahead. But KX warns of higher volatility.

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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, November 2021

    At November's Global Investment Roundtable, Gavekal’s senior team convened to discuss the global macro environment as energy prices continue to rise and the US Federal Reserve gets closer to winding down its monetary accommodation.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Fed Turns Inflation Risk Manager

    At the start of 2021, not many investors expected the Federal Reserve to close the year by winding down its asset purchases. So why is it now tapering, and what comes next for US monetary policy and markets? In this piece, Will seeks to explain.

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