Monthly Archives: January 2013

James Mackintosh

The US is about to get a new Treasury secretary, assuming the White House can steer Jack Lew through the painful nomination process in Congress.

One question that’s sure to come up: is he in favour of a strong dollar? Read more

The UK’s inflation-linked gilts markets have just seen their largest one-day rise in 25 years – thanks to the decision of statisticians to do nothing. James Mackintosh, investment editor, looks beyond gilts to analyse what the real yields on government bonds are telling us.

The parade of best bourses so far this year is a rogue’s gallery of the past few years’ basket cases: Greece, Dubai, Egypt and Argentina, with the eurozone periphery close behind. James Mackintosh, investment editor, analyses whether this dash for trash is wise.

Several measures of sentiment suggest investors are becoming worryingly optimistic. Investment editor James Mackintosh says this is something which typically happens before the market drops back.

James Mackintosh

Investors could hardly be more excited about the pressure on the Bank of Japan from new prime minister Shinzo Abe. Japanese equities have soared and the yen crumbled (until this week’s slight strengthening, at least) on hopes the BoJ will act more aggressively to end the deflation, which is widely blamed for crippling the economy.

The big plan is to push the BoJ into adopting a 2 per cent inflation target, double the 1 per cent goal it set last February. But given how badly it has missed that target, would 2 per cent really matter? Read more

The valuation gap between European and US shares has narrowed to levels only seen a few times in the past decade. Is this justified? James Mackintosh, investment editor, says this suggests investors see a safer Europe while America’s economy turns European.

James Mackintosh

The US housing recovery is gathering steam, and bullish economists are hopeful it will give a handy boost to growth, at a time when the US faces more austerity than most of Europe, thanks to the tax hikes agreed in the fiscal cliff compromise.

Credit Suisse has produced a nice chart showing just how big the recovery in housebuilding has been: private housing starts are now running at a higher rate than at the trough of previous recessions all the way back to 1960.

Housing starts since 1960

Source: Credit Suisse

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