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Archive of Market News

All VP Bank Market News

Make the most of our market specialists’ expertise and benefit from their latest market assessments.

Here you'll find all financial news of the following categories:

  • News from the financial markets 
  • Spot analysis
  • Investment ideas
  • Economic Outlook
  • Tactical Positioning

 

2019
Economic outlook

Economic Outlook April 2019

First the good news: major leading indicators suggest that the Chinese economy is regaining momentum. This impetus from the Far East now needs to spread as quickly as possible to Europe. The European economy is not in good shape. A significant weakening of global trade volume compared with last year is putting a brake of the eurozone’s export-oriented industries. The US economy, by contrast, still looks solid.


Tactical positioning

Tactical Positioning

The returns delivered by financial markets since the beginning of the year have been pleasing. But it is no time to sit back and relax. For one thing, the recent inversion of the yield curve in the US has fuelled concerns about recession. Even if a recession is not imminent, the risk has grown. We increase the allocation in gold.


Investment ideas

“Safety first” with convertible bond

Investors are once again upbeat on the prospects for economic growth in china. And the about-face by the US Federal Reserve supports the optimists. But what if Brexit ends in chaos or the trade conflict between the USA and China does not end as expected? In this environment, where potentially sharp market swings can crop up at any moment, convertible bonds are just the right thing. More information you'll get from your client advisor.

News from the financial markets

Equities and inverted yields: "So what?"

On 19 December 2018, 3-month USD Libor exceeded the yield on 10-year US Treasuries for the first time since the financial crisis. For many investors, this has set the alarm bells ringing. Why? Because, in the past, this development has usually heralded a recession in the foreseeable future. Having discussed the current state of the economy in the leading regions ("Is a recession imminent?"), we now analyse how the equity market will be affected.

Investment ideas

VP Money Fonds: an alternative to negative interest rates

Earning any sort of interest income is not so easy these days: Money market rates in both the Eurozone and CHF will remain negative for some time to come. Especially in the EU region, economic growth is decelerating at a faster than expected pace. The anticipated return on VP Money Funds in CHF and EUR significantly exceeds going money market rates, even as participation in any potential interest rate rise is assured. Get more information from your client advisor

News from the financial markets

Market update: Return of uncertainty

After weeks of calm, uncertainty has returned to financial markets. In January, the Federal Reserve's communicative turnaround kicked off the recovery rally. On Thursday, the Fed ruled out further rate hikes for this year. The reduction of the central bank balance is also expected to come to an end sooner than expected. The first reaction of the market had been positive, but Investors came quickly to the conclusion, that if the Fed becomes skeptical, the economy does not have to be in good shape. The demand for safe bonds rose, which depressed the yields on long-term government bonds.

Spot analysis

Market update: return of uncertainty

After weeks of calm, uncertainty has returned to financial markets. In January, the Federal Reserve's communicative turnaround kicked off the recovery rally.

Tactical positioning

Tactical Positioning March 2019

Despite economic risks, the financial markets have performed well thus far this year. In our view, the chances are good that the positive environment will continue in the coming weeks. This is supported not least by the new stimulus measures in China. Against this backdrop, we have decided to increase emerging market equities in the portfolio.


Investment ideas

A different way to harness future dividends

In order to benefit from attractive dividend payments, an investor normally hast do bear the underlying equity risk. In the case of dividend futures, things are different. Owing to today’s downbeat expectations, futures contracts on forthcoming dividend payments represent an interesting alternative for seasoned investors. Get more information from your client advisor.

Investment ideas

Invest in Quality

For several months now, investors have witnessed historical equity market price movements that are being driven by hopes and fears as well as the perpetual quandary of whether the glass is half-full or half-empty. Thanks to the US-Federal Reserve, the glass now seems to be full again, and wishful thinkers are even pricing-in an interest rate cut for the current year. As earning expectations for 2019 continue to be trimmed, in certain cases drastically, companies with strong fundamentals gaining much greater importance. Get more information from your client advisor.

Investment ideas

Take advantage of USD interest rates

Earning interest income these days is not so easy: both in the Eurozone and Swiss Franc realm, yields on money market instruments and in certain parts of the bond market remain negative. The US Dollar is an exception to this rule. Here, both short and long maturities are firmly in the black. Nonetheless, in order to counteract possible further rate hikes, short maturities are recommended. The product we have selected combines a generous yield, a short holding period and high credit quality. Get more information from your client advisor.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

The world economy is flagging. The eurozone, in particular, is experiencing a rapid decline in business momentum. One-off factors are playing a role, but Europe is also affected by the tribulations of the Chinese economy, which is apparently in worse shape than official numbers indicate. China’s difficulties have a major impact on Europe’s export-oriented industries. The Chinese government has introduced a raft of measures to head off a more serious downturn. This suggests at least a moderate improvement in the global economic situation during the second half of the year.


Tactical positioning

Tactical Positioning Februar 2019

To get right to the point, global economic risks have increased and not diminished. The economic slowdown has also been high on the agenda of the central banks. At least the financial markets are getting some support from the Fed.


Investment ideas

Take Advantage of Dividends

“In Europe, investors’ focus in the spring months regularly tends to centre on equities with attractive dividends. The reason: the annual one-time profit distributions to share-holders. This of course gives rise to the impression that the market as a whole can be outsmarted. But if you want to profit from dividends, you should consider the long-term advantage of owning stocks with consistently high dividend yields rather than concentrating on short-term yield optimization.” Get more information from your client advisor.

Tactical positioning

Improvement in sight?

In our market commentary a month ago, we expressed our concern that the environment would be challenging beyond the turn of the year and vulnerable to sharp mood swings. Unfortunately, this proved to be even more pronounced than we had feared.


2018
Economic outlook

Wirtschaftlicher Ausblick Dezember 2018

The global economy starts the new year in the grip of a wintry cooldown. Most leading indicators around the world are now in decline, and some countries were already reporting a contraction of GDP in the third quarter.

Spot analysis

UK: Theresa May survives Tory party no-confidence vote

And breathe! Theresa May has achieved the necessary majority in the internal Tory Party vote of no-confidence.

Spot analysis

UK: Theresa May facing vote of no confidence today

Theresa May has to face a vote of no confidence in the British Parliament today. The canceled vote on the Brexit deal caused a stir in the British House of Commons. More than 48 members of the parliament demanded a vote.

Tactical positioning

Tactical Positioning December 2018

The past few weeks have once again demonstrated the great influence psychology exerts on financial markets. Just a tweet from Donald Trump could shift the mood from exaltation to despair. In this difficult environment, our underweight in equities has proven its validity in the portfolio from a tactical point of view.

Investment ideas

Profit from the game with oil

“The USA is “playing” with oil. First, the price was driven higher by the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. Then, surprisingly, the US- administration made sales concessions to Iran. This triggered a downright slump in the market – the price of oil tumbling by nearly 30% - since when Bear Market conditions have prevailed.”

Tactical positioning

No all-clear signal yet

The market environment continues to be challenging. After the sell-off in October and the rebound early November, market turbulence recurred in recent days. Against this backdrop, we reaffirm our cautious stance and continue to recommend underweighting equities in particular.


Investment ideas

China Consumer Basket

China has been in a phase of transformation for several years now. Its economic growth should be based more broadly on domestic consumption and less on the country’s still enormous export surplus. The aim is to make China less dependent on global trade and ultimately turn the middle kingdom into a services-oriented economy rather than just a low-cost production site.

News from the financial markets

US midterm elections to determine Donald Trump’s future political agenda

The policies of the American president are about to be put to the test. On 6 November 2018, the midterm elections will enable US voters to show how satisfied they are with the government's work. According to survey trends, there are no signs of a sweeping victory for the opposition: in the Senate, the Republicans are likely to retain the majority, whereas a change in leadership is likely for the House of Representatives. The following commentary delves into the potential implications of the election outcome on the financial markets.

Tactical positioning

The side effects of monetary policy

Normalisation of monetary policy has long been a major talking point on the markets. But recent weeks have shown that a return to higher interest rates is not plain sailing. In the short term we believe that the scope for further interest rate increases is exhausted. The resultant breathing space should be good for emerging market bonds.


News from the financial markets

Emerging markets under pressure – A general conflagration is not to be anticipated

The emerging markets are currently in the spotlight. Due to the massive currency price losses in places, the question arises as to whether there is now the threat of payment defaults. However, the situation between the different countries is significantly more heterogeneous than was the case, for example, in the 1980s and 1990s. Some countries are coping better than others with the currency price losses. Therefore, a general conflagration accompanied by an extensive payment default in the emerging markets is not to be anticipated.

Tactical positioning

Challenging market environment

The US economy continues to perform dynamically. The main drivers are exports, personal consumption and business investment. The signs are that GDP will continue to grow robustly in the second half of this year, though the Q2 result is unlikely to be bettered; the jump in net exports was an exceptional development attributable to new tariffs.


Investment ideas

Global Health Care: "Invest in health"

To many investors, the healthcare sector appears to be less than dynamic. Wrongly, because the strategic drivers aeging’ ,“Efficiency” and “technology” will have a decisive influence on the industry. The resulting transition is spurring above-average growth, even as it keeps the healthcare system affordable.

News from the financial markets

Country focus Turkey: Difficulties on the Bosporus

The new Turkish lira (TRY) has suffered dramatic losses in recent weeks, a move that has accelerated over the past several days due to new sanctions imposed on Turkey by the USA in response to the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. As Turkey’s private sector is mainly indebted in foreign currencies, the domestic banks now run the risk of becoming insolvent. And because they in turn are indebted to European banks, the possibility of contagion to the global financial markets has become a major concern.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

These are stormy times on the international scene.

Tactical positioning

Equity markets stabilizing

July has seen a recovery on the equity markets, with tensions regarding the international trade conflict shifting from Europe to China. We are maintaining a neutral position in equities and are still underweight in bonds. We are overweight in alternative investments due to our position in gold.

Tactical positioning

Emerging markets in focus – purchase of gold as hedge against geopolitical risks

The effects of Fed’s more restrictive monetary policy are being felt most of all in the emerging markets. We are maintaining our neutral positioning in equities and remain underweighted in bonds. The alternative investments quota has been increased via the purchase of gold.

Investment ideas

High quality investing

Corporate earnings expectations in almost all regions showed a renewed improvement in the second quarter. However, rising interest rates and escalating trade conflicts are unsettling financial markets and are pushing up credit risks.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

These are stormy times on the world political scene. Populist parties have taken the helm in Italy, while Donald Trump is threatening further tariffs on US imports.

Tactical positioning

Profit taking on European equities

Earnings growth, high dividend yields and the depreciation of the euro are supportive factors for the European equity market, but recent political commotions and weaker macro data create headwinds.

Investment ideas

Tactical recovery

The abrupt plunge in share prices at the outset of the year has to be seen as starting point of a protracted strategic consolidation of global equities. Within this broad horizontal pattern, there are signs of an emerging recovery phase. In a best-case scenario, the highs achieved in late February could be revisited. Depending on the specific region/sector, this opens up a hypothetical upside of between 5 and 8%.“

Tactical positioning

Outperformance of European equities

The decision to increase our European equity allocation in February has paid off: European markets performing significantly better of late compared to the rest of the world.

Investment ideas

GBP – hopes for a “soft Brexit”

The British populace in the meantime has become extremely critical of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Thus in our opinion, a hard break with the EU is something that Theresa May’s government can scarcely take back home from the Brussels negotiations.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

The positive outlook for the global economy has recently lost some of its shine.

Tactical positioning

Consolidation continues

The sideways, albeit volatile movements in the equity markets persist, whereas the losses recorded since the beginning of the year have remained modest until now.

Spot analysis

Marketupdate: trading conflict

Donald Trump is putting his election promises into action

Investment ideas

Divends are the crux

Ever since the implosion of the dot.Com bubble, the global telecom sector has been been consolidating within a broad trading range, enormous debt loads and vast infrastructure investments, combined however with stable gross revenues and high dividends, characterise the industry. Now, following this protracted phase of consolidation, its earnings outlook has improved significantly. Hence, the window in time for tactical positioning is now open.

Tactical positioning

USA weighs import tariffs

Donald Trump’s intention to impose punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium imports has led to renewed jitters in the equity markets.


Investment ideas

Swiss Dividend Basket

The focus in the equity markets these days is squarely on price gains. Investors seem to be disregarding the fact that dividends are in fact the most important long-term source of returns.

Economic outlook

The world economy is buoyant and the upturn is strengthening

Never before have so few countries been in recession. In other words, the upturn is highly synchronised. The recently enacted tax reform in the US should lead to accelerated investment growth.

Tactical positioning

Tactical Positioning

Increased exposure to European equities

Spot analysis

Market update

Assessment of the current situation on the equity markets

Investment ideas

How to profit from market volatility

Equity markets have significantly declined in recent days. While relatively little has changed from a fundamental perspective, the market perception has changed. The fear of rising interest rates is now prevalent. Read more at proLink

News from the financial markets

ECB aims to change the wording of its guidance

EUR continues to flex its muscles. The common currency has appreciated across the board and in the process surpassed the technically crucial 1.2050 level versus USD.

Tactical positioning

Neutral in equities – underweight in bonds

The equity markets started the year in an extremely positive fashion. Interest rates are still low. We remain constructive for the equity markets, but have become more cautious, primarily in light of the valuation level.

2017
Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

The global economy is on a recovery track. However, expectations should not be set too high.

Tactical positioning

Equities neutral – bonds underweight

The macroeconomic framework remains positive. Therefore, we expect interest rates to rise. Although we still maintain a positive outlook for the equity markets we have become more cautious due to the elevated valuation level. We are weighting equities at neutral and remain underweight in bonds.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

The world economy is showing somewhat stronger momentum this year and will register a higher growth rate than in 2016.

Tactical positioning

Equities neutral – bonds underweight

The economic outlook could hardly be better. Current global economic developments are lending support to the stock markets. In our view, though, a valuation level has now been reached that leaves the door open for disappointments. We are reckoning with higher interest rates and a continuation of the consolidation in the equity markets.

News from the financial markets

Bitcoin – what’s behind the hype?

Due to their enormous price gains in the recent past, cryptocur-rencies – above all, Bitcoin – are currently being touted as the monetary equivalent of the Holy Grail. But what is Bitcoin, and how does the frequently mentioned “blockchain” work?

Tactical positioning

European equity markets recover – Equity allocation reduced to neutral

European equity markets chalked up significant advances in September on the back of a weaker euro and good macroeconomic data.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

The world economy is showing somewhat stronger momentum this year and will register a higher growth rate than in 2016.

Tactical positioning

European equity markets recover – Equity allocation reduced to neutral

European equity markets chalked up significant advances in September on the back of a weaker euro and good macroeconomic data.

Investment ideas

The electrifying automotive sector

The automotive industry is in the midst of a transformation, with opportunities and risks for the relevant companies as well as for investors.

Investment ideas

Private Debt Markets – The «Afterbank» era

Following the financial crisis in 2008 banks pulled-out of credit markets in an attempt to deleverage their balance sheets and to comply with new regulatory rules. At the same time financing needs especially in middle market and SME businesses reached new highs.

Investment ideas

GBP: "Transition" is the magic word

The United Kingdom’s exit negotiations with the EU are proceeding at snail’s pace. Brussels is bemoaning what it claims is a lack of specific proposals from the British side. Yet it is becoming clear that both sides can agree on transition periods once the exit negotiations are over. This opens up new prospects – including for the GBP.

Investment ideas

Energy efficiency - a different approach to environmental protection

Every minute the world's population expands by 157 people. Per capita energy consumption currently stands at more than 1,900 litres of crude oil per year. Worldwide primary energy requirements have doubled since 1984.

News from the financial markets

Post-election Germany: What next?

Germany’s two major mainstream parties, CDU/CSU and SPD, have suffered substantial losses, to the benefit of the smaller political parties. Stunningly, the right-wing populist AfD came away with 12.6% of the vote and in one fell swoop will have the third-largest representation in the Bundestag. .

Investment ideas

Energy efficiency - a different approach to environmental protection

Every minute the world's population expands by 157 people. Per capita energy consumption currently stands at more than 1,900 litres of crude oil per year.

Investment ideas

Goldcorp benefits from rising gold price

Gold is back in favour. An increase in geopolitical risks and uncertainty regarding future monetary policy provide support for the price of gold. Gold companies have also benefited from this development.

Tactical positioning

Equity markets still steady – despite political risks

European equity markets are currently having to deal with multiple negative factors.

Tactical positioning

European equity markets consolidating

The upward momentum of European equity markets has been halted, due mainly to the strong appreciation of the euro.

Investment ideas

Investment theme: Here come the robots: The trend towards automation

Presently, on any given day, the same amount of data is being generated as was produced cumulatively from the beginning of mankind through the turn of the millennium.

News from the financial markets

EUR/USD: Euro flexing its muscles

The euro has gained considerable ground in recent weeks.

Tactical positioning

Market comment - End of ultra-easy monetary policy

Statements by the European Central Bank have heralded the end of ultra-expansionary monetary policy in the eurozone.

Investment ideas

Bank stocks in the spotlight

The gravitational force of today’s global growth is having a beneficial impact on the various segments of the financial industry.


Tactical positioning

Market comment - Weak US economic data only temporary

The latest figures for US economic growth were disappointing. Labour market data have softened, and confidence indicators have dipped.

Investment ideas

Infrastructure - an investment in the future

The sentiment in the financial markets could hardly be more upbeat at the moment.

Investment ideas

Investment idea/FX idea: EUR/USD - euro fantasies overdone

The euro has been the darling of the financial markets in recent weeks.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

World economy: Major leading indicators are signaling a moderate acceleration of global economic growth in 2017. The world economy is profiting mainly from the beneficial effect of somewhat higher energy prices on oil-producing emerging nations like Brazil and Russia, which will be able to dig themselves out of recession, though their growth rates are still unlikely to exceed a meagre one percent. Hopes in the industrialized world are pinned on the United States, where higher capital spending and solid personal consumption will drive economic growth.

Tactical positioning

Market comment - France has chosen

Emmanuel Macron has triumphed in the French presidential election. This is also a victory for the EU. Equity markets had already climbed steeply in the run-up to the ballot, and profit-taking might now occur.

News from the financial markets

France after the election: What next?

News from the financial markets - France after the election: What next?

News from the financial markets

French presidential elections: a mix of hope and fear

Round one of the French presidential elections is now history:

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

Major leading indicators are signaling a moderate acceleration of global economic growth in 2017. Even so, the details do not provide comforting reading. The world economy is profiting mainly from the beneficial effect of somewhat higher energy prices on oil-pro-ducing emerging nations like Brazil and Russia, which will be able to dig themselves out of recession, though their growth rates are still unlikely to exceed a meagre one percent. Hopes in the industrialized world are pinned on the United States, where higher capital spending and solid personal consumption will drive economic growth.

Economic outlook

Economic Outlook

World economy: Major leading indicators are signaling a moderate acceleration of global economic growth in 2017. Even so, the details do not provide comforting reading. The world economy is profiting mainly from the beneficial effect of somewhat higher energy prices on oil-pro-ducing emerging nations like Brazil and Russia, which will be able to dig themselves out of recession, though their growth rates are still unlikely to exceed a meagre one percent. Hopes in the industrialized world are pinned on the United States, where higher capital spending and solid personal consumption will drive economic growth.

News from the financial markets

May the elections begin: SNB under pressure to act

The politically explosive 2017 election year is getting under way – but the political storm held off so far.

Spot analysis

Spot analysis USA: FOMC raised interest rate - the cautious course will continue

The FOMC raised the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.5% to 1% from 0.5% to 0.75% prior.

News from the financial markets

Brexit: The precarious British gambit

British Prime Minister Theresa May has introduced her EU exit strategy.