Saturday, 24 December 2016

Stories we should be thinking about

It may be Christmas tomorrow but here are a few finance and related stories to be thinking about as we go into the last few days of 2016.

Macro matters:

Of course not the most volatile last week as noted in this post from sourced from here:

I still say that the most important determinant of the global risk environment is the level of the US dollar so great to read this from Nomura:

Note the mention of protectionism above.  Still a big threat in my view and the recent trends have not been good...

And of course the reaction of China is all-important given their important role at the margin in the global economy - and the baiting of them by Donald Trump recently.  So this update yesterday from the Chinese President was fascinating: 

And have the Chinese started to sell a few bonds?  Certainly holding information appears to show this and no doubt this is influencing bond yields...which have been going up (and bond prices going down): 

Of course (as per this great chart via @callum_thomas) stronger economic growth conditions is pulling up bond yields too. 

Put it all together and I still prefer equities versus bonds for 2017 even if buybacks are slowing...

...and coming back to Donald Trump performance has been historically strong since his election:

In short, I believe it is going to be a more stock-picking market.  With markets just fading a bit off highs no surprises that most sectors are heading from 'over bought' to a more 'neutral' positioning: 

Let's shift to Europe and good news from the Euro President earlier today regarding Greece

Happy to conclude that we have cleared the way for to go ahead with decision-making procedures for short term debt measures

Let's see if there is a definitive deal.  Meanwhile on Russia a variety of opinions EU-wide: 

 But any sanctions relief would be a positive for the Russian economy.

Higher oil prices have helped the Russian economy (and the Ruble) in 2016.  And rising optimism in the energy sector apparent in the active oil rig count in the US: 

Nice chart via @jsblokland showing that zinc was the best performing commodity in 2016 and cocoa the worst: 

Some great thoughts on trends in the art market in 2017 here including: 

The online art market is growing at an annual rate of 24 percent and expected to reach $9.58 billion by 2020, according to a report by insurer Hiscox Ltd. 

And how about cost of Christmas trends?  Well the cost of the 12 days of Christmas has trended up as noted below and here

And that just leaves me to wish all readers a Merry Christmas! 

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