US Treasury (UST) yields traded in a tight range in February. Risk assets rallied and UST yields rose in the first half of the month, on the back of the prospect of tax cuts and a Dodd-Frank overhaul in the US.
Given the release of the fourth quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.
Asia’s Credit market has come a long way since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1998, having evolved into a large, deep and liquid market.
Asia ex-Japan (AxJ) equities returned 6.2% in US Dollar (USD) terms, outperforming MSCI World. Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese equities outperformed while Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand lagged.
US Treasury (UST) yields ended higher in January as weaker-than-expected payroll data led markets to moderate their forecasts for Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes in 2017.
Given the challenges, why bother?
In-depth report: Economic growth in Asia is expected to remain broadly stable in 2017. While there will be greater external uncertainties as well as country-specific challenges, Asian economies are, on balance, better equipped to deal with external pressures compared to a few years back.
Asia ex-Japan (AxJ) equities returned -2.0% in US Dollar (USD) terms, underperforming MSCI World and MSCI Emerging Markets (EM). Currencies across AxJ generally weakened against the dollar following the Federal Reserve's (Fed’s) decision to hike rates.
USTs weakened further in December, as caution prevailed following the November sell-off. As widely expected, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 25 basis points (bps).
As we start 2017, we expect the continued recovery in Japan’s economy will be driven by three factors outlined in this article.
Trump certainly is non-conventional, in many ways similar to Teddy Roosevelt. Hopefully, Japan can adapt to this new reality, and instead of blocking Trump's initiatives, be able to have acceptable compromise “deals” ready.
Nikko AM's Global Investment Committee's 2017 Outlook — More Economic and Equity Reflation, Despite Less Dovish Central Banks
We believe that in an increasingly uncertain world, Japan’s less uncertain market will provide a compelling opportunity for serious investors.
The phrase “lower for longer” could well become unfashionable very quickly after years of central banks combating the forces of deflation and wishing for inflation instead.
Asia ex-Japan equities returned -2.9% in US Dollar (USD) terms, underperforming MSCI World.
UST yields surged in the month as Trump's election victory prompted expectations of a significant fiscal package and possible upside inflation risk under the new administration.
A combination of key regional factors—including demographics, urbanization and existing infrastructure gaps—all point to sustainable growth for healthcare in Asia ex Japan.
Following the US election, we have seen bond rates continuing to increase, a stronger US dollar, firmer commodity prices, and a US stock market at all-time highs. Is optimism around the US President-elect’s fiscal expansion masking the true deflationary picture?
Given the release of the third quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.
Asia ex-Japan equities returned -1.5% in US Dollar (USD) terms, outperforming the MSCI World which declined by 1.9%.
USTs ended lower in October. Better US economic data and a hawkish statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) bolstered expectations of a December interest rate hike.
Our Senior Portfolio Manager for ASEAN equities reviews the trend towards Strongman rule in ASEAN.
Our Multi-Asset portfolio manager based in Singapore reviews the prospects for profit margin expansion in the three main Emerging Market regions.
"Find growth and you will find performance" was our Asian Equity investment mantra in early 2016 as the world grappled with slowing growth and lethargy with monetary experimentaton in low and depressed interest rates.
Asia ex-Japan equities rose in September, returning 1.6% in US Dollar (USD) terms and outperforming both the MSCI World and MSCI Emerging Markets indices.
USTs ended September mixed. While the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and the Bank of Japan reinforced commitment to monetary easing, the ECB's lack of new stimulus disappointed the market.
No turning back — 2% inflation target not only intact but enhanced with a new “inflation overshooting commitment”
Our UK expert on BREXIT and our chief global strategist respond to Japan’s concern about its investments in the UK.
Given how important central bank policies are for the pricing of assets, our focus has to be on what they do next. If debt monetisation were to occur, it would have significant implications for equity investing.
Asia ex-Japan equities extended its upward momentum in August, returning 3.4% in US Dollar (USD) terms and outperforming MSCI World by 3.3%.
USTs ended marginally lower in August as the market adjusted to the possibility of a Fed rate hike, buoyed by sustained resilience in the labour market.
Given the release of the second quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.
Japan is a consensus-driven culture and improved corporate governance is now the consensus. There are clear signs that many companies are moving towards more shareholder-oriented management.
Asia ex Japan equities rose by 4.8% in USD terms in July, outpacing global equities. Hopes for monetary and fiscal stimulus led to strong buying of Asian equities.
US Treasury (UST) yields ended July mixed: yields of shorter maturities climbed, whilse those of longer maturities fell.
Our expert on Asian financials describes the exciting technological developments that will change the way we all do business in the future.
Our Chief Strategist in Japan shares his views on political landscape and the economy.
Asia ex Japan equities rose by 2.7% in USD terms in June, outpacing global equities. The Brexit shock proved short-lived for regional markets as investors started to price in greater monetary and fiscal stimulus across major economies.
US Treasury (UST) yields gained in a volatile mon across asset classes. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) scaled back projections for raising interest rates, while the UK voted to leave the EU by a 4% margin, surprising markets.
Many are wondering if it's time to give up on Abenomics. While some of the scepticism is understandable, we believe it is too early to throw in the towel.
In light of the significant volatility ensuing from the results of the EU Referendum in the UK, we share our initial thoughts on the evolving situation as well as provide an update on the strategy you are invested or have an interest in and the implications of the event on the broader investment landscape in Japan.
The immediate fallout from the Brexit win has been a strong flight to safety. US Treasuries rallied with the UST 10-year yield down to 1.44%, lower by 31 basis points (bps) on 27 June 2016.
Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee’s post-BREXIT scenario, including market and economic targets, is on the moderately gloomy side.
Asia ex Japan equities declined by 1.3% in USD terms in May, largely on the back of currency weakness. Markets started the month under pressure, but later recovered on better-than-expected US economic data and recovering oil prices.
US Treasury yields remained largely unchanged in May. The impact of a disappointing US payroll figure was offset by the release of the US Federal Reserve’s April meeting minutes, which revealed that most policymakers favoured a rate hike in June should the US economy continue to improve.
Our Chief Strategist in Japan explains why Japan’s government debt situation is sustainable.
Our global rates and currencies strategist in Australia lays out his dovish Fed scenario as an alternative to our house view. In it, he expects the Fed to wait until September or later to raise rates, and states his case that the Fed’s actions do not affect US bond yields.
Our two leading Global Emerging Market debt experts, both based in London, weigh the possibilities of a sustained upturn in this long-suffering asset class.
Asia ex Japan (AxJ) equities declined by 0.9% in USD terms in April, largely on the back of currency weakness. Oil markets reached their highest levels since last November, while activity data in China improved.
US Treasury (UST) yields rose in April, as hopes of stabilization in the Chinese economy underpinned demand for riskier assets.
Our Chief Global Strategist explains the reasons why there is too much unjustified pessimism about Abenomics.
Our Asian currency expert discusses the potential ramifications of the increasing CNY-orientation for Asian currencies.
Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on March 29th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.
We expect June and December Fed hikes, but only mild further easing ahead for the BOJ and ECB. Meanwhile, we expect oil prices to creep higher through 2016 despite the stronger USD due to relatively firm economic developments in China and the G-3.
We expect that global equity and bond investing will be positive for Yen based investors due to Yen weakness, but for USD based investors, we are taking only a neutral stance on global equities due to a cautious forecast for US equities, whereas we are positive on Asia-Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe. Meanwhile, we are moderately negative on bonds in each region when measured in USD terms, so we underweight them.
Our Singapore-based Fixed Income Portfolio Manager details the reasons for ASEAN’s recent rebound and why such should continue.
Our global strategist sheds light on how corporate profit margins are reflecting the continuing improvement of corporate governance in Japan.
This policy change by the BOJ is a positive in terms of maintaining and strengthening the inflation expectations that have begun to flower.
Unfortunately for the soundness of the sleep among BOJ-watchers, Mr. Kuroda believes that surprising the market is the best way to achieve his intended result.
Our Chief Global Strategist regards Japan positively in the global-macro context and predicts that Japanese equities will outperform global equities in the first half of 2016.
Our Chief Investment Officer in Japan details the many reasons for optimism on Japanese equities in 2016
There are many concerns about Abenomics losing its power to reform the economy, but our Chief Strategist in Japan, Naoki Kamiyama, shows that the major developments in tax reform prove that Abenomics is alive and well.
James Eginton provides his insights on the economic transition in China following a recent research trip to the region. The transition from a reliance on infrastructure investment to consumer spending - perhaps the largest the world will ever see - has significant implications for global growth.
John Vail reflects on the Fed decision and the path forward. The Fed was even more dovish than apparent in the headlines.
Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on December 8th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.
We only expect mild further easing ahead, especially as the ECB does not wish to cause a rupture while the Fed is hiking rates.
We forecast that Asia Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe will outperform in the next six months, while the US should underperform and, thus, deserve an underweight stance vs. all other regions.
Looking forward, even though inventories were revised higher, their long depletion means they remain far too low in my view, and should continue start to rise significantly in the quarters and years ahead.
The IMF's decision to include the Renminbi into the SDR is a major push for the RMB to become one of the world's major reserve currencies.
Our lead Australian fixed income portfolio manager discusses her intermediate-term outlook for the bond market “down under.”
Once again, as has long been our view, disappointing macro-data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.
Developed and emerging markets in Asia ex-Japan have clearly been under tremendous pressure in recent months, including redemptions of more than USD 50bn from the region in September, the heaviest ever witnessed.
There are many reasons for the BOJ to defy consensus expectations for more easing.
There is an admirable effort to improve the female participation rate, but it is too early to judge whether the measures will have a major effect.
Markets and economies are still being dictated to by unprecedented levels of monetary stimulus. We believe in building a portfolio of companies that are more likely to flourish in the growth environment beyond 2015.
We explain how Abenomics is the "icing on the cake" of corporate governance improvement over the last decade.
The internet revolution is coming to the financial sector, addressing inefficiencies in current system and business models. In China’s case we are witnessing a combination of financial liberalisation with an internet revolution in the financial sector.
Even though the current term premium on US Treasuries seems too low, it is unlikely to rise significantly unless offshore bond yields start to rise.
As has long been our view, disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.
While RMB weakness will likely persist for a few months, we don't expect the currency to devalue more than 10% versus USD and we maintain our confidence that the currency will be included into the IMF SDR basket in a year from now.
We will be watching to see how companies respond this year to the Corporate Governance Code, specifically the twin issues of selling cross-shareholdings and improving capital efficiency.
India is a key market to watch in the coming years. Our expert on India, Andrew Holland, CEO of Nikko AM's joint venture there, discusses with Simon Down of our UK fixed income team the forecast for reforms in the country, with some surprising conclusions.
What lies ahead for iron ore prices, particularly with the Chinese economy slowing and undergoing a transition away from a materials-intensive economy to a consumption-driven economy?
The sharp equity market correction in recent weeks after a very strong run over the past year will not have a crisis-level impact to the broader economy.
The IMF has been supportive of China's attempt to be included, but has not indicated that it recommends it. Furthermore, there is a risk that most of these reforms are too new for the IMF to judge whether they are effective or sustainable.
Nikko AM Asia views the recent corrections in Chinese equities, particularly in the onshore markets, as healthy given the sharp increases in value that had occurred due to a frenzied retail market intoxicated by relatively cheap margin financing.
We expect that profit margins will expand further in coming quarters, driven by a large corporate tax cut and continued industry rationalizations that further prove that Japan's structural profitability trend continues upward.
Since the Fed starting hinting at the normalization of interest rates a year ago, Asian central banks' foreign reserve accumulations - except for India and Hong Kong - have either incurred substantial losses or remained flat.
We expect that Japanese pension funds will continue to shift their investments into risky assets in 2015.
The importance of President Xi Jinping's strong leadership cannot be stressed enough. Under him China is undergoing dramatic changes. While the most thorough cleansing of state corruption is ongoing, elements of China's grand strategy are becoming more evident both domestically and on the global stage.
The market isn't overheating even though the Nikkei stock average touched the 20,000 level, nor do we believe that overseas markets are overheating right now.
Due to the developments described in this article, there is ample room for growth at Japanese firms and much opportunity for investment success.
Given the significant proportion of real estate investment as a percentage of GDP, as well as the proportion of local government revenue generated from land sales, the property market remains a crucial driver of the Chinese economy.
The March “tankan” survey results are not expected to lead to the BOJ's further acceleration of QE.
In sum, there certainly are some worrisome issues, as always, but we find none of them convincing enough to prevent moderate increases in equity prices.
Much as we expected, China's economy has continued to slow faster than consensus, but does not appear to be in a hard landing.
Central Banks: Despite firm economic growth, we believe that a negative YoY CPI through September will steady the Fed's hand.
Coupled with our expectation for global bond yields to rise moderately, we maintain our overweight view on global equities vs. bonds.
The recovery in profits by Japanese export firms should continue to attract the attention of the markets in the first half of 2015.
John Vail updates his long-standing theme: Japan's Successful “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance.