Although the current polls do not indicate a clear majority outcome, in this piece we will examine some of the issues that may cause sentiment to shift towards a Brexit, and what the UK leaving the European Union might mean for the UK and EU economies post breakup.
While a recession in the US is not our base scenario, the impact of such an event on credit exposure is worthy of consideration. In our historical analysis we've found that the driver of past recessions can provide important insight into which credit maturities are most attractive.
US monetary policy grows less independent as 2016 unfolds and risks to global growth abound in a rebalancing China, a deflationary struggle in Europe and whispers of a Brexit.
2016 began in complete panic, with risk assets including emerging markets (EMs) selling off deeply through the first few weeks of the year.
Our global strategist sheds light on how corporate profit margins are reflecting the continuing improvement of corporate governance in Japan.
Our Global Credit staff in London detail their rationale behind concentrating on service sector exposure globally.
Our global equities team in Edinburgh explains their views on the prospects for their asset class.
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 London and US analysts review oil prices from the supply and demand angle and they note that global demand growth remains high while global supply is narrowing, indicating that oilfs price swoon could be over.
Our Singapore Multi-Asset and Equity team analysts cover oil’s swoon using a bit of humor, but the clear-cut conclusion is of great importance.
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
Our Singapore fixed income team expounds on the outlook for this clearly globally important factor.
In early 2016, hedge fund Nevsky Capital decided to call it quits after 15 years of successful asset management. One of the reasons for the closure is that since the global financial crisis (GFC), emerging markets (EMs) are breaking away from the transparent 'Washington Concensus' model and are now prone to much less predictible nationalistic policies.
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.
Our investment management teams have again come together to update their views given new developments in India.
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.
As we enter 2016, we believe the divergent monetary policy theme will continue -- with the major risk to global bond markets and Fed rate rises continuing to be Europe.
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.
We update our views on whether ECB QE has had a positive effect on corporate earnings.
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.
A better supply/demand balance in Europe, outperformance of “high yield“ globally, positive event-risk in the telecom sector and opportunities in local currencies, as well as other credit related investment themes, all present interesting opportunities for generating positive returns, even in a challenging environment.
Our Nikko Asset Management fixed income experts, led by Simon Down, discuss the prospects for commodity currencies.
In our view, the G-3 economies will fare reasonably well, and basically match the current consensus in the next few quarters; however, there will be significant challenges for each region.
For the time being, we are not estimating a date for reducing the Fed’s balance sheet, but a 2Q16 initiation seems quite logical at this stage.
Although we expected G-3 bond yields to rise, they did so less than we predicted in our June meeting. We expect yields to rise moderately further for the next two quarters.
Our forecasted macro-backdrop scenario has mixed ramifications for global equities, with the US declining but most other regions rising, and it is likely to be very volatile ride
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.
Equity markets have been caught out by recent currency devaluations, as well as fear that central banks lack the tools to spur global growth amid deflationary forces.
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?
Like many countries that have previously refused to reform at all levels, sometimes it takes a true crisis to change.
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 short-term volatility but the threat of financial contagion via the banking system in Europe is much lower than in 2011/12 and we’re unlikely to see a severe longer-term impact on global markets.
We believe the global economy should be quite firm for the next year, but not so strong as to cause inflation concerns.
We have a non-consensus, but completely sound call for a more aggressive Fed, whereas we expect the ECB and BOJ to maintain their current aggressive easing program.
Despite good global economic growth, other commodity prices will likely remain quite flat in our view, partially due to a stronger USD.
We calculate that equity valuations are at fair levels and that stocks can grow along with earnings.
Although the recent bond market sell-off may remind the market of 2003, we don’t believe US bonds will be as badly affected. By comparing the worst US bond sell-offs since 2003, we estimate that the 10-year US Treasury yield could hit a high of 2.8-3.2% by October.
Real yields and inflation expectations currently suggest exceptionally low growth and low inflation far out into the future.
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.
We do not expect the recent steepening of the bund yield curve to be the beginning of a sustained new trend. Moreover, Eurozone and German economic data, albeit improving, are not sufficient to support the higher bund yields on a sustained basis.
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.
With many markets having rallied from major support levels when they were in highly oversold positions, we believe that bond markets should stabilise or rally from current levels.
We expect that Japanese pension funds will continue to shift their investments into risky assets in 2015.
Oil-producing countries have seen the largest drop in their foreign exchange (FX) holdings over the last year. In our view, Saudi Arabia can afford to handle oil prices at their current level for some time but ...
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.
Interest rate and foreign exchange volatility has begun to increase as the market anticipates the time when the US Federal Reserve will start to reduce monetary accommodation and raise interest rates.
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.
Through 2014, one of the largest asset classes in the world was virtually unnoticed as an indicator that Europe is not pushing the global economy into widespread deflation.
There are several credible reasons to expect that QE will boost corporate earnings in Europe, though by not as much as in the US. However the risk of disappointment relative to inflated expectations remains high.
In 2015, markets will be looking for any pick up in European and Japanese inflation as a result of their QE programmes. With growth picking up, we may start to see signs of a rise in US inflation.
The disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.
The key theme of the past few years has been quantitative easing. Although the US has come to the end of its version of this experiment, QE programmes have begun or are about to begin in Japan and Europe.
We expect the next phase of the global evolution to be driven by a growing global population, rapid urbanisation and for most of it to happen in emerging markets with increasing focus on "green" development.
In a pre-GFC and pre-QE world, zero or negative interest rates on a German, Japanese or US 10-year bond would have been considered highly implausible. However...
ECB's QE: The major question is, will this program work given the European model of debt creation is via the banking system and not the bond markets?
The steel industry and its underlying iron ore industry are witnessing excess production and deflationary forces that are similar to the global energy markets.
The QE announcement was a major step forward for Eurozone. It is not without dangers and questions about implementation, however, so markets should not get over-enthusiastic about it.
Now that oil prices have declined, if a central bank targets its overall CPI at 2.0% for 2015, it would likely be labeled as being overly aggressive and perhaps attempting to unfairly weaken its currency.
As the Fed continues to unwind its stimulus, even amidst threats of global deflation, there are hopes that China will accelerate the liberalization of its capital account and take over the Fed's role as the global supplier of liquidity.
We expect oil prices to rebound and for the time being, we will stick with our call for Brent to rebound to $72 by end-June 2015, although $65 is a more plausible goal.
Supply-side shocks and market distortions have created a degree of uncertainty over the short to medium-term outlook for the New Zealand dairy industry.
Brazil can no longer continue as “business as usual” and it is at an important crossroads as to whether it can exit the well-known “middle income country trap.” Domestic issues aside, EMs will continue to encounter major headwinds as an asset class in early 2015 due to negative stories from large countries, such as Brazil and Russia.
These reforms coupled with strong balance sheets and demographics will support higher levels of global growth for decades to come.
The investment world is changing quickly and 2015 should prove to be a very interesting year, but we see no reason to change our long-held positive view on global equities.
Recently, two major voices in the "core Fed" (Fischer and Dudley) have indicated that despite low inflation, the Fed's main scenario is to begin hiking rates in mid 2015.
China's economy likely slowed much more than the official statistics show; otherwise, the government would not have reversed course on its various crackdowns, especially on the property market.
Our Global Investment Committee always seems to meet in the middle of great volatility, and this time was no exception, with the investment world facing all sorts of new challenges.
In our view, the LDP coalition's maintenance of a strong two-thirds majority in this election will greatly help Prime Minister Abe and his party's reform efforts, while likely bolstering Yen weakness to some degree.
As we move further away from the turbulent period between 2007 and 2009, interest in credit has increased rapidly as investors globally search for extra return in a low yield environment.
If the RBA does cut interest rates, it is likely that they will make more than one cut, so we could see Australia's official cash rate at 2.00% by the second quarter of 2015.
Many empirical studies have shown that a value style approach to investing in Australian shares has consistently outperformed growth investing - and with less risk.