Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category
I have decided to put forth my thought on portfolio strategy first
For clients with substantial portfolio, will look into entering the US market as a diversification. I believe US market is in a better place now, but returns of US market will likely be lower than growth markets. (note: a market need not be in a good place, lesser risk more upside to rally, as can be seen previously). US equity has been in the overbought region. As shown below, the S&P 500 index has been trading within the red zone (between 1 and 2 standard deviations above the 50-day) for some time now. It seldom goes above 2 standard deviations and everytime over the last 10 years it reach, it pulls back.
I still favour Asia and emerging markets, especially some of the less mentioned regions like Indonesia, Brazil, South Korea and South East Asia. I favour markets with good domestic consumption and commodities driven mix. It does seem like the markets are very correlated nowadays.
Commodities have run up quite a lot and I believe it is a long term story. Pretty hard to reach a convincing conclusion about outperforming equity markets now.
May has been a volatile month. Europe’s sovereign debt risks and tensions in Korean Peninsular weighs down heavily on the financial markets while economic data has shown that the recovery is underway.
Speculation and intense debate on 2 issues, whether Greece will be forced to default and whether Euro will lose some of its weaker member countries has died down a little. However, things are still not certain a month after attacks lead to a trillion dollar bailout package. Euro skeptics say the forced spending cuts and tax increases will scuttle a recovery before it takes hold. The fiscal austerity measures will be a big drag on growth. Spain lost its AAA credit grade at Fitch Ratings, dropping one step to AA+ to a “stable” outlook.
You will have heard me mention the Greek sovereign debt problem before. In February, this issue has been weighing down the markets somewhat pending a response from European Central Bank. Last Thursday, a serious contagion forced ECB to response seriously with a huge EUR750 billion safety net to arrest the fiscal crisis and stop the turmoil from spreading to the other 15 nations that use the euro.
Markets have been really volatile last 2 weeks due to this issue, other issues like China’s property prices and inflation do not help in calming the market. Main story goes, after the drop last week, traders and investors gave positive response and the markets for fixed income, equity and Euro rebounded on Monday, a day after hard fought European lifeline.
Greece and her budget problems has been in the news for some time now. The issued started way back in 1999.
Greece, which had an increasing budget deficit (where spending is higher than income) that cause it to fail the criteria for joining the single European currency in 1999, joined the euro in 2001. Member nations must keep deficits at less than 3 percent of GDP and trim national debt to less than 60 percent of GDP under the pact.