Harbour Outlook: Fed Pause Party
Global equity markets rebounded strongly in January, led by the S&P 500 which had its strongest January since 1987. The sharp recovery in risk appetite reflected more dovish statements from the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) which is now expected to pause its interest rate hiking cycle until the cross currents of slowing global growth, market volatility and “tightened” financial conditions pass. A better than expected kick off to the US earnings season further whetted investors’ appetite towards risk assets...READ MORE
Australian Royal Commission: Final report shakeup
After a year long review the Hayne Royal Commission (RC) into Misconduct in Financial Services has laid out recommendations. This reshaping of the financial services industry has significant implications and received strong political support, ahead of a likely election by 18 May 2019. It is possible that the Labor Party may have a harsher interpretation of potential changes than the RC recommends.READ MORE
RBNZ banking rules shaping credit markets
Changes to banking rules are set to have a meaningful impact on New Zealand’s fixed interest market in 2019:
A proposed rule forcing banks to hold more equity capital will make the banking sector more stable, however, it will come with a raft of second-round impacts. Chief among those will be the impact on banks’ willingness to lend. This is what we are watching most closely;
Separately, we may see an explicit preference for ...
New Zealand equity market debt trends
One of the driving factors behind the global financial crisis (GFC) was high levels of company debt. High leverage and lower earnings coverage of interest costs heightened risk in the US equity market. Recently published research by a global investment bank[i] suggests that US company debt levels may be creeping up again. But are we seeing the same thing happen in New Zealand?
Research by Harbour indicates that the median N...
Core NZ inflation pressures, lifting towards 2 percent
This week saw the release of NZ CPI inflation for Q4 2018. While headline annual inflation measure remained below 2%, the details showed core underlying pressures a little stronger than expected and continuing to lift to target. Rather than sparking any immediate change in policy direction, in our view, the CPI release will see the RBNZ continuing to “watch, worry, and wait”.
Leading into the CPI release, the market had been...
Harbour Outlook: Volatility, more of the same
Key pointsVolatility across global financial markets, which had been building since October, picked up sharply in December.
Many countries, including the US and Australia, are experiencing high employment, solid consumer spending, reasonable business investment trends and mild inflation that should result in a reasonable backdrop for the equity market.
The current environment is likely to remain sensitive to any signs that dom...
Take the long-term view: why have equity markets been weak?
Equity markets have re-traced and become more volatile over the second half of 2018.
Tighter monetary policy has sapped liquidity
Lower liquidity has contributed to higher volatility
Investors have become more bearish
History reminds us that those investors who take a long-term view and invest when equity markets become overly negative are generally well-rewarded when overall market risk tolerance stabilises.
10 Risks to Watch in 2019
When investing in an uncertain world, it is useful to distinguish between a core view of the most likely outcome for economies and markets, and the key risks that could challenge that assessment.
In our most recent monthly Harbour Outlook we set out our core view.  Markets have experienced goldilocks conditions over the past 5 years, with solid economic growth, low inflation and low interest rates. Through 2018 we have see...
US earnings season delivers, but raises questions about future growth
Q3 US Earnings season was strong with 410 of the S&P 500 stock index beating consensus expectations. What wasn’t so strong was earnings guidance, which has led the market to downgrade future earnings expectations. While the outlook for US earnings looks less certain, we take some comfort from macroeconomic data which paints a solid picture of economic expansion.READ MORE
Harbour Outlook - Volatility Strikes Back
Financial market volatility has increased in recent months but still remains relatively low by historical standards.
While the macroeconomic data continues to point to a strong US economy, we are expecting the US Federal Reserve to be more cautious and data dependent as they approach more neutral interest rate settings.
While US-China tensions are likely to be a source of volatility as news headlines emerge, we exp...