Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 15th December 2017

GOVERNMENT DEFEATED ON FLAGSHIP EU BILL

This week yet more problems for Theresa May have come piling out of the Brexit clown car. Having made significant progress by securing an agreement
on the first phase of negotiations, any momentum was promptly halted through a series of unforced errors. Firstly, David Davis did his best to undermine
the agreement by claiming the UK might not stick to the terms later on, before the government mismanaged a vote on the EU Withdrawal bill and
suffered a defeat in the commons. Despite all the drama, the probability of a reasonable deal and transition period still looks better than it did a week
ago. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 8th December 2017

MAY RETURNS FROM EUROPE WITH WHITE PIECE OF PAPER

Theresa May has brought us back a traditional European fudge for Christmas this year. Wishful thinking and our natural tendency to see what we want
to see means that just about everyone is happy with the ambiguously-worded agreement on the Irish border. The suspicion is the issue has been parked
till the last minute when the small nations of Ireland, north and south, will be told to deal with whatever the UK, France and Germany agree. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 1st December 2017

BREXIT “BREAKTHROUGH”, BITCOIN AND BALLISTICS

This week we finally learned what the government’s real Brexit strategy is; bluster for as long as possible before giving in and agreeing to everything
at the last minute. The terms of the divorce bill, that was apparently agreed this week, sound a lot like the EU’s starting position and doesn’t suggest
David Davis has negotiated much more over the last six months than a delay. This was always somewhat inevitable – it is vital to get a transition deal
because it will be impossible to adequately prepare for life on the outside in the time available. The EU knows this, the UK knows this and the EU knows
that the UK knows this. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 10th November 2017

THE UK ECONOMY HANGS IN THE BALANCE

UK house prices are rising at their fastest since January, according to Halifax, but the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors suggests they are flat, with
sales falling. Who to believe? This is the problem for watchers of the UK economy: different data sets point in different directions, and that is before you
even attempt to deal with the politicising of that data. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 3rd November 2017

REVERSAL OF THE BREXIT RATE CUT AND A NEW HEAD OF FED

This week we finally saw a rate rise, putting an end to what feels like years of scepticism on our part that it would ever happen. We remain sceptical
overall on the path of future rates and think a lower for longer mindset still persists at the Bank of England. Markets drew many of the same conclusions,
and much of the pre-hike excitement evaporated after the details of the decision were made public. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 27th October 2017

UNFORCED ERRORS SLOW PROGRESS

This week has been relatively quiet – and by relatively we mean that there hasn’t been a threat of nuclear war, terrorist attack or national tragedy, such
is the world that we live in. The closest we came this week was a national embarrassment, as David Davis went off script and claimed that MPs would
only get a vote on the Brexit deal after the UK left the EU. Quite how this restores the sovereignty of parliament from European tyranny is anyone’s guess
and the statement was rapidly retracted. The pound fell on concerns that the Brexit process isn’t going well. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update – 20th October 2017

UK INFLATION RAISES QUESTIONS

This week the predictable rowing back from predictions of a rate rise, made with such certainty only a few weeks ago, has begun. The Governor is in
the awkward situation of having rising inflation – hitting a high of three per cent – and a precariously poised economy. Weaker than expected consumer
spending coupled with two new members of the committee who are committed rate rise sceptics means the balance has swung away from a hike for the
time being. This isn’t our first rodeo; the pattern of rising expectations followed by inconclusive data and ultimately zero rate hikes has been repeated
almost every quarter. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update 13th October 2017

ANOTHER ROUND OF TALKS TAKES US NOWHERE

This week we have been treated to a further display of exactly what calibre of people we are currently governed by. As has become tradition, after the
conclusion of the latest round of talks between the UK and EU negotiators, David Davis has made claims of huge progress while Michel Barnier rolled
his eyes and made a rude gesture behind his back – figuratively speaking. The real problem is that it is impossible to negotiate when you don’t know
what you want – and the almost fatally wounded Prime Minister appears unable to exert even a modicum of control over her cabinet and is left unable
to state a position. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Update – 6th October 2017

MAY SUFFERS MISHAPS ON STAGE

This week we had the spectacle of Theresa May being given a P45 while the set fell apart around her during her Conservative Party conference speech.
While having a cough is hardly a sign of poor leadership, public calamity has very much become the prime minister’s go-to move in recent months. The
latest bit of party infighting is a most unwelcome return to form following a few weeks of certainty post Florence. It is probably time for things to come
to a head – if the party wants to change leader it should get on with it, dragging it out while the Brexit clock is ticking will be terrible for everybody. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Quarterly Market Outlook – Autumn 2017

REVIEW OF THE PAST QUARTER:

A continual stream of mixed data and UK growth downgrades over the last quarter meant a relatively volatile time for the UK currency, although a dash of clarity was provided by Theresa May’s speech in Florence. Sterling subsequently strengthened, aided by a more hawkish-sounding Mark Carney and fears of increased inflation. Germany’s Angela Merkel was re-elected, with a surprisingly strong performance from both political extremes. This meant the summer was not as sleepy as most for equities, with performance differences between stocks rising and several disappointing earnings reports were severely punished by investors. Read more…