News flash Making sense of daily noise

Making sense of daily noise

The volatile trading during much of September has continued into October, with markets seemingly unable to pick a particular direction. According to Bloomberg, the S&P 500 alternated between gains and losses of at least 1% for four straight sessions this week – the longest stretch since June 2020. Ten-year Treasury yields, too, are swinging wildly.…

News flash Markets, The biggest grey rhino

The biggest grey rhino

Debt woes at Chinese property developer, Evergrande, sent markets into a spin earlier this week, with investors questioning whether the company would default on $119 million in interest payments due on its bonds. Founded to capitalise on China’s ascending middle class and booming economy, the company is fuelled by $300 billion in debt and is…

News flash Managing inflation risks

Managing inflation risks

With inflation worries on the horizon internationally and locally, many are concerned that this could adversely affect economic growth and corporate earnings, which have just started to recover from the extreme downside caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. As inflation increases, central banks are tapering off stimulus packages, and need to do so in a…

News flash Rand swimming against the tide

Rand swimming against the tide

The rand was surprisingly strong this week, gaining 2.3% against the dollar. What is unusual is that it achieved this in the midst of a stronger dollar and slightly softer global equity markets. Ordinarily global risk-on sentiment leads to a weaker dollar, rising global equity markets, and stronger emerging market currencies. At the moment, the…

News flash Innovation ignited by a Covid-19 economy

Innovation ignited by a Covid-19 economy

Covid-19 has catalysed an innovation culture with many new software applications, security solutions, devices, and ways of working coming out of people’s need to hunker down at home while carrying on with their day-to-day jobs. An explosion in small business registrations and start-up activity bodes well, since small enterprises drive economic growth. According to the…

News flash When social contracts are broken

When social contracts are broken

South Africa’s Department of Social Security raised eyebrows this week by proposing a comprehensive overhaul of the social security system that could significantly increase the tax burden for most taxpayers. This comes at a time when government has broken the social contract through its inability to rein in corruption and deliver efficient, quality social services…

News flash Transitory: Inflation or growth or both?

Transitory: Inflation or growth or both?

The market is closely watching US inflation, which was in line with July expectations after dramatically exceeding them in June. For much of the year, investors have been concerned that inflation, which is generally linked to growth, could spike – leading to a drastic, market-shaking change in monetary policy and that the US Federal Reserve…