Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 19th October 2018

FEDERAL RESERVE MINUTES HINTS TOWARDS A QUICKER PACE OF RATE HIKES

This week the paranoia over interest rates that has haunted the markets throughout October looks a little more justified, following the release of the
minutes from the September meeting of the US Federal Reserve’s rate setting body, the Open Market Committee. The latest sell was off sparked by
fears that the bank might hike rates faster than expected, and it appears those fears were well founded with several members of the committee pushing
for rates to move into restrictive territory. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 12th October 2018

GLOBAL SELLOFF RELENTS AFTER RALLY

Rising US treasury yields, falling US tech stock prices, and incessant tweeting by President Trump were all factors contributing to the global sell-off
this week. President Trump’s tweet questioned the Fed’s tightening policy. It appears the news of the rate hikes took some time to be digested by bond
investors with BlackRock’s debt ETF recording a record outflow of almost $2bn in a single day. The bond market contagion spread to the US Equity
market with technology stocks bearing the brunt of the headwinds. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 5th October 2018

CHINESE MONOPOLY ON COMPUTER AND PHONE MANUFACTURING POSES A RISK TO TECH STOCKS

This week saw major exposés from the shadowy world of espionage. Much of the news has focused on details of the Russian operation to poison former
agent Sergei Skripal with a deadly nerve agent, this spy novel type attack has overshadowed the far more serious cyber security threats that were also
disclosed. The most disturbing is the news that Chinese intelligence agencies infiltrated several factories making computer components and managed
to install chips on motherboards that ended up in secure servers that were installed in US Navy warships, the CIA, the Department of Defence and a
number of other sensitive government agencies as well as in corporations such as Apple and Amazon. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Quarterly Market Outlook Autumn 2018

REVIEW OF THE PAST QUARTER:

September revealed contrasting monetary policy announcements. The
Bank of Japan avoided tightening its interest rate and bond-buying policies,
maintaining both with a long-term view of meeting the 2 per cent inflation
target. In contrast, the Bank of England hiked rates and the US Federal
Reserve is expected to announce another round of rises. In addition,
Turkey’s Central Bank moved to raise interest rates, increasing them to 24
per cent to deal with ramping inflation rates and currency depreciation. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 28th September 2018

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SPEECH FALLS FLAT IN THE UN

This week the Brexit waters were muddied further at the Labour party conference, with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and shadow Brexit
secretary Sir Keir Starmer putting forward conflicting positions in consecutive speeches. McDonnell appeared to favour a referendum on a bad deal
versus no deal, while the more pragmatic Starmer thought an option to just bin the whole idea ought to be considered as well. While Labour’s position
on Brexit has been incoherent for a while, this would have been a perfect opportunity to come up with a real alternative; given there is a very good chance
the current government implodes, and this becomes Jeremy Corbyn’s decision. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 21st September 2018

CHEQUERS PLAN REBUFFED IN SALZBURG

This week the background noise of uncertainty over Brexit increased to a deafening roar as Theresa May took her Chequers plan to Salzburg only to
have it dismissed out of hand. While much of the press has been fuming about the way the EU27 have treated the Prime Minister, this outcome should
not have been a surprise. The Chequers plan has all along been less of a workable solution to Brexit and more of a hotchpotch of ideas, intended to
satisfy the demands of the Tory backbenches rather than the EU. While the tone from Barnier and Tusk has been more than a little condescending, that
we still don’t seem to have a clue what we’re doing with just six months to go is utterly ridiculous. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 14th September 2018

HURRICANE FLORENCE SET TO TEST PRESIDENT TRUMP’S LEADERSHIP

This week, we got further support for the status quo. Positive economic data, including a higher than expected GDP data was coupled with a decision
from the central bank to leave things alone and let everything carry on as it is. Unfortunately, our political leaders don’t have the same appreciation for
inactivity. Boris Johnson especially appears to believe that he gets paid by the word and treated us to what appears to be the opening salvo in his battle
for the Tory leadership. While even Brutus would have raised an eyebrow at the amount of plotting going on in the Tory party, it does at least appear that
they are giving up on trying to control Brexit and have instead focused on grasping the leavers of power afterwards. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 7th September 2018

RARE RAY OF SUNSHINE AS BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE

This week we had an announcement that Britain and Germany had agreed to drop specific sticking points around the shape of our future relationship
with the EU, which was perceived to make an exit deal more likely. While the pound did strengthen on the news, reports of a surge were overblown as it
remained far from its six-month high against the dollar. The positive sentiment has also been undermined by both the Conservative back benches and
EU negotiators, who have decided to call time on Theresa May’s Chequers proposal, albeit for very different reasons. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 31st August 2018

YET ANOTHER COMPANY EXITS THE UK

This week we had a reminder that while the ultimate outcome of Brexit is unknown, companies don’t have the luxury of waiting to find out. Panasonic
became the latest company to move its European headquarters from London, adding to announcements from Unilever, EasyJet and Goldman Sachs to
name but a few. Despite the consolatory tones from Barnier this week, even the softest of Brexit’s won’t reverse the cost of uncertainty already paid. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 24th August 2018

TIME TO WORRY, MR PRESIDENT?

Robert Mueller, the man responsible for investigating Russian collusion with the Trump presidential campaign, will be going into the weekend feeling
particularly smug on the news that two of the President’s former associates may be facing jail time. Former lawyer and ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen pleaded
guilty to paying off two women on behalf of Trump using campaign expenses, while former campaign chairman Paul Manafort faces fraud charges.
However, the President should not be too concerned yet, as there is little risk of his own party impeaching him. With midterms approaching, the prospect
of the Democrats retaking the House of Representatives and the Senate may change all that. Trump’s presidency is now entering dangerous waters. Read more…