New article from Tatton Investment Management: Tug of war - bonds vs. equities

19 March 2021

Next week will mark the anniversary of the turning point of the 2020 COVID stock market crash. Investors looking at their one-year portfolio returns may well be astonished to find double-digit return figures, ranging from around 15% for lower risk strategies to close to 50% for pure global equity portfolios. Alas, don’t expect a repeat over the coming months, as these exceptional annual return levels are purely due to the ‘base effect’. When improvements are measured from an exceptionally low point, the percentage increase is particularly pronounced. If we measure from the beginning of 2020, returns are in the much more sustainable range of 5 - 15%.

Nevertheless, it is pleasing that much of what we projected to clients in our ad hoc crisis communications a year ago has materialised. The global economy remains intact, and near-term growth prospects look strong – as does the likely unprecedented demand spike – once the pandemic finally retreats.

With stock markets having already priced in a considerable amount of what recovery hopefully lies ahead, there’s – somewhat paradoxically – more to be anxious about. This is a period without real historical reference, and economic data affected by the very same base effect that investors experience for their investment returns creates considerable uncertainties and nervousness that has led to renewed volatility in capital markets. Over the next few months in particular, we can expect extraordinarily high annual economic growth rates, as well as higher reported inflation numbers, almost entirely as a result of the comparison to where we stood a year ago.

Overall, markets are still making upwards progress. However, the concern over rising yields is both a risk for spoiling the expected recovery party and creating different winners and losers compared to last year. While this should not prove too much of an issue for holders of widely-diversified investment portfolios, those investors with more concentrated exposure to particular regions, industries or investment styles are experiencing a reversal of fortunes compared to last year.

Given how much sway yield levels and inflation concerns are having over market action right now, it is worth taking a snapshot of where we are, which still starts with a look at the state of the pandemic.

Globally, the COVID infection numbers are rising again, perhaps driven by a large increase in testing, perhaps because restrictions are being lifted with schools reopening in many places, perhaps driven by the new more contagious strains, perhaps because people everywhere are getting tired of being distanced.

In the (traditionally insular) US hospitalisations are declining sharply, and the ‘positive test’ numbers have stopped falling since schools went back and the testing capacity doubled. The now-passed American Rescue Plan Act is already putting money into the pockets of American consumers, which will boost consumption strongly, especially after the winter storm-induced (rather than COVID-induced) slowdown in late February-early March. Consumer service spending could prove particularly strong with, for example, tourist resort hotels completely booked out in the coming weeks and months. As we have noted, the massive bump in US activity has dominated discussions about spillover effects into global growth, which has led to a sharp rise in long-term US bond yields, which has in turn dragged up yields elsewhere. Yet current activity data elsewhere in the world is no longer improving – just like the daily figures on the pandemic.

Case numbers are rising again in Europe and, unfortunately, this appears to be down to greater transmission rather than more testing. The vaccination pace has started to increase, and there is some good news in that the vaccines also appear to be reducing the overall impacts of catching the illness, while renewed lockdowns in Italy and elsewhere appears to have brought some stabilisation. Of course, that’s not a good story economically. The victory of vaccination is that lockdowns should not be necessary.

Meanwhile, Asia has also had some of its confidence shaken by what appears to be a small COVID resurgence. This is at a much lesser level than Europe, but has been enough to keep consumers from enjoying the oncoming spring.

Just like with the UK and £-Sterling, the slightly lower virus impact has led to the US dollar regaining strength over the past month, against the Euro and the Yen, and against many emerging market currencies. This, in turn, has fed through to some central banks beginning to tighten policies, a year after the sharp virus-led cuts.

At the margin, global monetary policy is tightening, even if the big western blocks are unlikely to explicitly do so until 2023. We look at US Federal Reserve (Fed) policies in more details below following its Wednesday meeting. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) stands out as still in easing mode, after promising more quantitative easing. However, many other nations have started to move in the other direction.

China has been indicating a hawkish stance, as we have discussed in the past two weeks. Today, the oil-related nations have indicated a return to normality. Russia has raised rates in a surprise move while Norway has signalled it expects to raise rates later this year. Japan is allowing a (slight) rise in long-term yields. We have also seen rate rises from Brazil, Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia.

The financial conditions tightening effect of a stronger dollar, higher US bond yields and policy tightening from the above central banks have converged to take the edge off the very same global growth expectations that have been driving yields higher since the beginning of the year.

The financial conditions tightening effect of a stronger dollar, higher US bond yields and policy tightening from the above central banks have converged to take the edge off the very same global growth expectations that have been driving yields higher since the beginning of the year.

Interestingly enough, that probably means that US ten-year Treasury yields will struggle to go much higher than the 1.75% level seen briefly on Thursday. And, given that equity markets had been driven more by bond yield movements than growth expectations recently, it suggests a period of stabilisation in the recent tug of war between growth excitement, inflation fears and bond yields.


 

News Archive

18 December 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Goodbye to all that

14 December 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Outlook 2021 - no deal Brexit?

4 December 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: December concerns over baubles and bubbles

27 November 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Fiscal floundering

20 November 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: More tunnel before the light

18 November 2020

Interim Results For The Six Month Period Ended 30 September 2020

13 November 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Change is in the air

6 November 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Looking beyond the obvious

4 November 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: US Election Update

2 November 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: US election, the response to the pandemic and Brexit

30 October 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Unsettled week ahead - or behind

26 October 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Sunlit uplands or COVID gorge?

19 October 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Watching and waiting

12 October 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Baffling market optimism

2 October 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: A question of time horizons

25 September 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: A recovery on hold

18 September 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Taking a step back to look forward

14 September 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Frictions and contradictions

7 September 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Market dynamic of a K-shaped recovery

1 September 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Big tech gets bigger while the Fed takes the easy opt

24 August 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Fed leaves bond investors with that sinking feeling

17 August 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: COVID II the sequel - as scary as the original?

10 August 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: July brings consolidation

2 August 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Sunshine and shadows

27 July 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: PPE = Politics, Pressure and Economics

20 July 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Discomfort of disappearing safety nets

13 July 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Fast and freewheeling

3 July 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: H1 2020 offers meaningful lessons

29 June 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Support balances increasing strains - for how long?

22 June 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Equity valuations follow bond valuations' lead

15 June 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Stock markets suffer altitude sickness

8 June 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Markets are enjoying an uncomfortably benign pandemic

1 June 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Optimistic markets despite second wave lockdown threa

26 May 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Just as the sun comes out, clouds appear in the East

22 May 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management

18 May 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Us-China cold war: Threat or blessing?

11 May 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Most welcome, if feeble, signs of pulling together

4 May 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Opening-up will be slower than locking down

27 April 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: V or U-shaped recovery scenarios - the jury is out

20 April 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Lifting lockdown remains a delicate balancing act

20 April 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: Stock markets between hope and despair

15 April 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: Is now the time to invest?

13 April 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Fading threat of financial crisis re-opens old divide

6 April 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Unprecedented quarter or calm before the storm?

30 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Extraordinary: bear and bull market all in one

24 March 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: Why have stock markets appeared to rally on the lock-do

23 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Government ordered recession

19 March 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: Confusion reigns in Capital Markets

18 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Why aren't you doing something?

17 March 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: From euphoric recovery to depressed tumble

16 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Notes on a crash: the short, the medium and long term

13 March 2020

New video from Tatton Investment Management: Panic equity selling or panic raising of precautionar

12 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Forced sellers and other distractions

9 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Dark times or glimpse of light at the end of the tunn

6 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: News of a reverse oil price shock rattles markets bey

2 March 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Coronavirus - hitting too close to home

28 February 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: This week's market correction requires perspective

26 February 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: COVID-19 and the reaction of markets to pandemic fear

24 February 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: US markets hit new all-time highs and a 'bump'

17 February 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: V-shaped recovery for Valentine

10 February 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Markets show no fear - should they?

3 February 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Looking through the noise of the week

27 January 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Short break to Goldilocks?

20 January 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Parallels and differences to January 2018

14 January 2020

Appointment of Joint Broker

13 January 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: So far so good

8 January 2020

Tatton: Woodford & M&G suspensions have driven IFAs to us

6 January 2020

New article from Tatton Investment Management: 2020 starts with a Trump card

23 December 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Goodbye 2019 - welcome 2020 and a new decade!

16 December 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Brightening horizons - 2020 Outlook

8 December 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Can Trump derail the 2020 economic upturn?

2 December 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Markets are driving the markets

25 November 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Markets pause for reality check

18 November 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Swilling cash eases the market mood music

11 November 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Recession concerns retreat

11 November 2019

Interim Results for the six months ended 30 September 2019

4 November 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Crucial October period safely behind

28 October 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Slowly turning

21 October 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Brexit breakthrough versus Brexit fatigue

17 October 2019

Trading Statement

17 October 2019

Acquisition of Sinfonia Asset Management Limited (SAM)

14 October 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Market sentiment rebound

7 October 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Stall speed economy fears spreading

30 September 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Ominous US-Dollar strength

23 September 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Diverging economic trends - catalyst for trade war re

16 September 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Market sentiment rebound

9 September 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Choppy water but no storm, yet...

2 September 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Fattening 'tails'

27 August 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Populism politics reversing austerity?

19 August 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Market spat between bond and equity markets

11 August 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Bond markets unnerve equity markets - again

5 August 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: The Elephant and the Little Old Lady

29 July 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: The quick and the not-so-quick

22 July 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: ...'Twere well it were done quickly

15 July 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Positioning for a summer of wait and see

8 July 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Liquidity drives stock markets to new highs

1 July 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: The middle of the year - a tipping point?

24 June 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Battle of the ‘doves’

17 June 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Mixed messages

10 June 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: The return of the central bank put?

3 June 2019

Appointment by Tenet Group

3 June 2019

Appointment by Frenkel Topping

3 June 2019

Preliminary Results For the year ended 31 March 2019

3 June 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Bond rally musings

27 May 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: It is getting warmer

20 May 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Market support for Trump or unwarranted equanimity?

13 May 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Geopolitics re-enter market stage

7 May 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Central banks disappoint expectations

29 April 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Waning market stimuli put stock markets on notice

23 April 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Spring time from here?

16 April 2019

Trading Statement for 12 months ending 31 March 2019

15 April 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Brexit in-limbo aside sentiment is improving

8 April 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Happy 10th birthday, choppy bull market

1 April 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management:29 March 2019 – quarter end

25 March 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Brinkmanship and extensions

18 March 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Bits & Pieces

11 March 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: ECB stimulus U-turn leaves markets unimpressed

4 March 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: £-Sterling ‘applauds’ prospect of Brexit delay

25 February 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Progress?

18 February 2019

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Investment perspectives for different Brexit outcomes

15 November 2018

Interim Results for the six months ended 30 September 2018

15 October 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Autopsy of a stock market sell-off

1 October 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Poor politics containing bond market risks?

27 September 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Brexit clamour vs. real market new

7 September 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Interesting times ahead

31 August 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: “Not the end of the world”

24 August 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Steady markets vs. noisy politics

17 August 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Political strongman tactics come home to roost

10 August 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Summer heat wave makes way for return of political he

3 August 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: A gentle deceleration?

27 July 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Hot air for a hot summer?

20 July 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management:Earnings are growing, why worry?

13 July 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Hard Brexit demonstration potential?

6 July 2018

Notice of Annual General Meeting

6 July 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: It is getting hot

29 June 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Digesting or consolidating?

27 June 2018

Preliminary Results for the year ended 31 March 2018

22 June 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Fragile recovery

15 June 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: No surprises

8 June 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Delicate equilibrium

1 June 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Ignore politics at your peril

25 May 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: GDPR? No - far more interesting news!

18 May 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: What's the economic reality of this week's news?

11 May 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Batten-down-the-hatches?

4 May 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Past the peak?

27 April 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Confusing signals?

20 April 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: A mixture of messages

6 April 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Could do better

6 April 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Peaking, plateauing or dimming – and how about that

29 March 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: End of a stormy quarter

23 March 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Now we know it's risky!

16 March 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Back to Normal?

9 March 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Tariffs to growth

2 March 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Time to take some profits

23 February 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Change of direction or gradual normalisation?

16 February 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Breathing easier for the moment

9 February 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Meteoric stock markets crash bac

6 February 2018

Tatton Investment Management's Stock Market Correction Assessment

2 February 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Good news turns bad news - again!

26 January 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Surprises

19 January 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: US$ weakness versus Bitcoin and Carillion

12 January 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Bullish sentiment rings alarm bells

5 January 2018

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Encouraging kick-off

15 December 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: 2017 - taking stock

8 December 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Progress versus Bitcoin

5 December 2017

Interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2017

1 December 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Sudden, but not entirely unexpected

24 November 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Invincible markets?

17 November 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Yield-curve flattening: a bad omen?

10 November 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Nervous investors herald more volatile markets

3 November 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: UK rate rise: ‘one and done’ or beginning of rate

27 October 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Trick or treat season

13 October 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: All-time highs and Q3 results outlook: Reasons to be

6 October 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Bad news – good news

29 September 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Movements

22 September 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: QT to reverse QE and 2-year transition period to soft

15 September 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: BoE guides for year-end rate hike - Bluff or real?

8 September 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: ‘Back to school’ amidst hurricanes, earthquakes

1 September 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Bad news, Good news

25 August 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Summer low or summer lull?

18 August 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: More sellers than buyers

11 August 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Stocks take note of North Korea crisis - or do they?

4 August 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Consolidated base but momentum dwindling

28 July 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Summer thoughts about the ‘longer term’

21 July 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Summer lull - delayed

14 July 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Pre summer-holiday investment check

7 July 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Global growth ploughs on while markets take a breathe

23 June 2017

New article from Tatton Investment Management: Quo Vadis Britain?