Monthly Markets / March 2014

April 15, 2014

 US data continues to show that although growth momentum has moderated, due in part to the severe weather at the start of the year, the level of growth remains robust. The recovery in the labour market continued at a gradual pace with non-farm payrolls coming in at 192,000 in March. Although this was below consensus expectations, the participation rate hit a 6-month high at a seasonally adjusted 63.2%, while net revisions for the previous two months were up 37,000. Manufacturing activity, as measured by the PMI and ISM indexes, also remains at healthy levels, despite both gauges missing expectations.

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March market update/ 2014

March 14, 2014
December market update - Frontier Advisors

Rob Hogg, Head of our Capital Markets and Asset Allocation Research Team sums up the state of markets for the month.

Monthly Markets / February 2014

February 17, 2014

We have been grappling with the issue on whether recent weak US data has been weather driven or part of a renewed weakening trend.  The latest news flow over February brought some comfort in the sense that the weaker data appears to be weather related rather than something more insidious.  The US ISM survey, a measure of the manufacturing activity across the country, posted 53.2 points for February beating expectations and was higher compared to 51.3 points in the previous month.  This came after the survey outcome missed expectations by the widest margin in the history of the survey last month.  The US unemployment rate in January was also on the mend, falling to 6.6% albeit new jobs added were below expectations.

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February market update/ 2014

February 14, 2014
December market update - Frontier Advisors

Rob Hogg, Head of our Capital Markets and Asset Allocation Research Team sums up the state of markets for the month.

Monthly Markets / January 2014

January 17, 2014

For much of January it appeared as if markets were headed for a positive start to 2014.  However, data that showed manufacturing activity in China and the US weakened in January, renewed attention on the US Federal Reserve’s tapering program and general concerns over emerging markets precipitated a succession of sell-offs in the final third of the month.  Symptomatic of the market turbulence in emerging markets, Brazil’s central bank raised interest rates for a 7th consecutive month.  The central banks of India and South Africa followed suit, unexpectedly increasing rates in an effort to defend their currencies and guard against the resulting inflationary pressures.  The central bank of Turkey went furthest, calling an emergency meeting and announcing a 4.25% increase in its overnight lending rate.

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January market update/ 2014

January 14, 2014

Rob Hogg, Head of our Capital Markets and Asset Allocation Research Team sums up the state of markets for the month.

Monthly Markets / December 2013

December 17, 2013

The US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) surprised the market in December with its announcement to begin scaling back the value of its monthly purchases of Treasury and Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS). The decision was reached based on the FOMC’s view of improving economic conditions in the US, particularly employment conditions. Beginning in January 2014, the FOMC will add to its holdings of MBS at a pace of $35 billion rather than $40 billion per month and add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $40 billion rather than $45 billion per month. Furthermore, the US Federal Reserve has continued to reiterate that future changes to its securities purchasing program will still be dependent on economic data and that tapering does not equate to a tightening of monetary policy as part of its forward guidance to markets.

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December market update/ 2013

December 14, 2013

Rob Hogg, Head of our Capital Markets and Asset Allocation Research Team sums up the state of markets for the month.

Monthly Markets / November 2013

November 17, 2013

After the drama of a temporary US government shutdown, it was a case of back to business as usual in November. The release of the US Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) October minutes showed the Fed may begin tapering its asset purchasing program in the coming months if the economy improves sufficiently, although most expectations have targeted Q1 2014 as the most likely date. Over the month, conflicting labour market statistics were released. Despite 204,000 net new jobs being created, the unemployment rate edged higher to 7.3% with an accompanying decrease in the participation rate, which fell to its lowest level since 1978. Meanwhile, manufacturing activity remains robust, with the national ISM survey accelerating to its highest level since April 2011, led by an improvement in export orders. Similarly positive was the building permits release which jumped to a five year high. Elsewhere, the Senate Banking Committee voted 14-8 in support of Janet Yellen’s nomination as the next Chair of the US Federal Reserve. Her nomination is now with the Democratic controlled Senate, but this now seems all but assured with a rule change requiring only a majority of votes to approve her nomination.

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November market update/ 2013

November 14, 2013

Rob Hogg, Head of our Capital Markets and Asset Allocation Research Team sums up the state of markets for the month.

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