Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 15th March 2019

WILL THE EU AGREE TO A LONGER EXTENSION?

This week we have to turn our attention yet again to Brexit. After a series of votes and high political drama it came as a surprise to no one that we find ourselves in exactly the same position as before. Theresa May has been told again that her deal is the worst of both worlds, simultaneously too hard and too soft, yet is pressing ahead regardless and looks set to put it to yet another vote next week. Meanwhile the headline development of taking “No-Deal” off the table is also meaningless. While No-Deal is now no longer the official policy of the government, it’s still going to happen unless parliament can agree to something else. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 8th March 2019

US-CHINA TRADE WAR TAKING ITS TOLL

This week we received further evidence of the US-China trade war taking a toll, with data showing Chinese exports reportedly dropping 21% year on year. While some of this is down to a slowing global economy, the falling out with Donald Trump isn’t helping. This comes alongside data showing that Russia has massively increased its global share of soybean exports, largely at the expense of US farmers who have been targeted by retaliatory Chinese sanctions. With the extent of the mutual harm the dispute is causing now more evident, it is unsurprising that both sides seem keener on reaching a deal. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 1st March 2019

THERESA MAY TO GIVE MP’S THE CHANCE TO EXTEND ARTICLE 50

This week we witnessed a major change in direction from both the government and opposition for their respective Brexit policies. Theresa May walked back yet another commitment and conceded that there should be an extension to article 50. This has been inevitable for some time as, quite apart from all the clowning about in parliament, there is actually a lot of legislation to be passed into law before leaving, regardless of the terms. We had already passed the point where that could have been accomplished so it was just a matter of when the Prime Minister would acknowledge that reality. While this move has garnered a lot of attention it hasn’t changed anything, there will still be nothing the parties agree on at the end of the period, except the option to delay will no longer be available. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 22nd February 2019

IS THE US’S STANDOFF WITH HUWAEI SET TO END?

This week President Trump appeared to make a major concession in his trade negotiations with China by significantly softening his stance on Huawei. Trump said the US shouldn’t ban “Technology” and urged US tech companies to compete or get left behind. This comes after weeks of the government labelling the firm as a risk to western countries and attempted to influence other nations to drop the company from future 5G networks. Trumps words strike a different tone to his administration however, who this week threatened to stop intelligence sharing with any country willing to work with the firm. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 15th February 2019

UK PROPERTY FUNDS SWITCH PRICING TO STEM OUTFLOWS

This week saw another property fund move to limit the impact of outflows as Janus Henderson announced it was moving its pricing to a full spread basis in March. While this sounds like a minor bit of fund administration, and to an extent it is, the timing of the move is interesting. Following the referendum, a sudden run on property funds caused a number to temporarily shut down as they struggled to meet investors demand for redemptions. With the possibility of a hard Brexit looming, it is interesting to see funds take pre-emptive action to try and avoid the same situation. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 8th February 2019

SEPERATING NOISE FROM REALITY

This week a lack of any major developments allowed us the time to look closer at some of the economic data of the last few weeks. It has reminded us that we ought to do this more often and ignore the headlines all together. Italy is currently in its third recession in a decade while Germany’s economy shrank in the third quarter of 2018 and stagnated in the fourth quarter. While it will likely avoid an all-out recession, a global slowdown and retrenchment in world trade is taking its toll. Britain is also slowing down, with growth forecasts cut by 0.5%, although still at a comparatively healthy 1.2%. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 1st February 2019

MARKETS RALLY AS FED PAUSES RATE HIKES

This week the most impactful story came out of the US, when the Federal Reserve announced it was keeping interest rates steady. This is significant,
because while official guidance is for three rate hikes in 2019, many believe the Fed is overly optimistic in its estimate of the strength of the US economy
and needs to back off. The market was convinced this move was coming; now it’s arrived a significant risk of disappointment has been removed. The
impact is yet to be determined, monetary policy takes about 18 months to have an impact on the real economy. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 25th January 2019

WHEN WILL THE US GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN END?

This week the partial US government shutdown enters a new phase. Already the longest shutdown on record, this week will see a second missed pay
check for the federal workers caught up in the standoff. While the US economy and stock markets have so far largely been unaffected, from this point
on the effects are likely to be more severe. While many public employees could survive a month, many more will struggle to survive two. Disruption and
civil unrest are a real possibility. In an odd asymmetry, congressional staffers are getting paid, while White House staff are not, due to being included in
different funding packages. This might hint to which side will eventually cave. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 18th January 2019

MARKETS UNFAZED BY BREXIT NOISE

This week has been dominated by politics. While we should have more to say about the week’s events, a crushing defeat for the government on Brexit
and scraping survival in a no confidence vote, hasn’t really changed anything. The markets have ignored all of it, suggesting that ministerial impotence
and uncertainty are now priced in as the new normal. With the UK now effectively having no functioning government, and with no hint of one in
opposition either, we think the market might be on to something. Read more…

Wyn Thomas - Axys Investment Management

Weekly Market Commentary 11th January 2019

TURBULENT MARKETS TAKE A BREATHER

This week has been broadly positive, with a lull in the news cycle that has allowed the market to catch its breath. Ongoing trade talks between the US
and China are being viewed positively, although there is no guarantee they’ll produce anything concrete. While the US government remains shut down,
it doesn’t appear to be having an impact outside of those unfortunate enough to be stuck in the middle. This might change if the shutdown lasts past
the end of the month when it could cause a delay in people receiving their tax refunds, which incredibly includes around 80 per cent of tax payers. Read more…