Fisher Capital Management- Financial Markets: Sentiment in the financial markets has improved over the past month. The global economic recovery is continuing, so far there have been no sovereign debt defaults, and there has been a modest recovery in the euro Investors and traders therefore appear to have concluded that the gloom was overdone.
But there has been evidence of a worsening situation in Spain, and the decision by the Chinese authorities to adopt a “more flexible” towards renminbi has also raised some concerns about the growth prospects for the Chinese economy.
Fisher Capital Management- Equity Markets: All the major equity markets, and the emerging markets, have improved over the past month. Wall Street has outperformed markets elsewhere because of some welcome economic data; there have been strong gains in most of the mainland European markets as the sovereign debt crisis has appeared to ease; the UK market has welcomed the measures by the new coalition government to address the problems of the huge UK fiscal deficit; and the Japanese market has also moved slightly higher. Corporate results have been satisfactory; and this has helped to improve sentiment
Government Bond Markets have had another unusual month. The sovereign debt crisis might have been expected to lead to a general weakness in bond markets; but the main effect has been to produce aggressive switching for the “weaker” markets to the “stronger” ones, and a further widening of the yield curve.
As a result the major markets are unchanged or only slightly lower at a time when the “weaker” markets, especially in Southern Europe, have continued their sharp declines. Slow economic growth and
Low short-term interest rates are continuing to provide support. Currencies: The improvement in sentiment in the markets has led to a movement of funds out of the “safe havens” of the dollar and the yen into commodity-related currencies and “riskier” assets. Both the dollar and the yen are therefore slightly weaker over the
Month; and this movement has also eased some of the pressure on the euro, and allowed it to recover.
Sterling has also improved as the markets have welcomed the measures introduced by the new UK government to reduce the fiscal deficit.
Fisher Capital Management- Short-Term Interest Rates: There have been no changes in short term interest rates over the past month in the major financial markets.
Fisher Capital Management- Commodity markets: have produced a mixed performance over the past month, with some weakness in base metal prices, but strong gains in the prices of cocoa, coffee, oil and precious metals.