2016 began in complete panic, with risk assets including emerging markets (EMs) selling off deeply through the first few weeks of the year.
Asia ex Japan equities edged lower in February, with the MSCI Asia ex Japan index contracting 0.9% in USD terms. Concerns over US economic growth and a Federal Reserve (Fed) perceived to be on hold drove a decline in the dollar.
5-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month lower, at 1.21% and 1.74% respectively. Cautious sentiment around falling oil prices and the prospect of a delay in US Federal Reserve interest rate increases supported US Treasuries (USTs) over the month.
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.
In 2015, the US Federal Reserve began the process of interest rate normalisation. Short-term bonds underperformed long duration bonds, on expectations of the ongoing US economic recovery remaining weak, and US inflation being anchored at current low levels.
As we have seen over the past year in the equity market, the more Beijing wants to exert control, the more it slips away. Is pragmatism going to trump ideology in Beijing? In the current environment, the PBOC letting the RMB free float might not be so unbelievable after all.
Asia ex Japan equities finished sharply lower with the MSCI Asia ex Japan Index contracting 7.6% in USD terms month-on-month (MoM), behind MSCI AC World Index.
2-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month lower, at 0.78% and 1.92%. Concerns that China could be embarking on a devaluation path curbed investors' risk appetite and supported demand safe-haven assets.
This policy change by the BOJ is a positive in terms of maintaining and strengthening the inflation expectations that have begun to flower.
In our view, the USD will soften when the Fed comes to accept the reality of slow-to-no growth globally and becomes more dovish in its language and approach.
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.
The current depreciation trend of the RMB against USD should be seen as a broad-based depreciation of the RMB and not bilaterally to the USD.
2015 has been a tumultuous year with a plethora of risk events spurring significant volatility across most asset classes.