This week was a busy one for the Trump administration – President Trump had a summit with North Korea, heard Michael Cohen’s testimony against the President, and had to deal with the ensuing national emergency initiated by President Trump’s wall.
- Investment performance in February was strong, the ACWI benchmark gained 2.7%, while the Fundsmith Fund and Investec Global Franchise Fund were up by 4.4% and 3.7% respectively, in US dollar terms.
- Yesterday, President Trump left his second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un early saying, “sometimes you have to walk.”
- There is growing speculation surrounding the US-Sino trade war as Trump suggested that he would walk away from a trade deal if he did not think that it was good enough.
- Michael Cohen, President Trump’s ex-“fixer” and lawyer, delivered his testimony to Congress this week. Follow this link for a summary of his accusations among which are: the Trump Organisation regularly inflated the value of its assets to obtain loans from banks, and the Trump campaign violated finance laws by paying off Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
- In escalated tensions between Pakistan and India, Pakistan has said that they will release a captured Indian Air Force pilot as a gesture of peace.
- China’s factory activity contracted for a third straight month in February but at a slower pace, helped by improvements in domestic manufacturing.
- On Thursday, MSCI, the company that compiles some of the world’s most closely followed share indexes, announced that it will quadruple the number of Chinese stocks in its key benchmarks this year.
- In Brexit developments – Theresa May has promised the members of Parliament a vote to delay Brexit.
- Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius stated that the global economy might have bottomed out. Prospects for growth in recession-plagued Europe and a troubled Chinese market have combined to provide a bleak forecast for the world’s economic growth.
- February was a very good month for our local Dynasty Funds, the Accumulator Fund gained 4.4% while the Preserver Fund was up 2.6%, both outperforming their respective benchmarks.
- The rand had a trying week after trading weaker for the third consecutive day yesterday, closing Thursday 1.1% weaker against the US dollar.
- The fall out of the denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea and the uncertainty surrounding the US-Sino trade negotiations have not been good for risk assets which, alongside Eskom woes, has dampened rand strength.
- The rand went from one of the strongest emerging market currencies in January, to one of the weakest in February, weakening by 6.2%. This means that rand returns on your offshore investment portfolio will be especially pleasing.
- In January, Producer Price Inflation eased to 4.1% year-on-year from 5.2% in December. This is due to the fuel price falling.
Source: Dynasty, Stanlib, Prescient, Daily Maverick, Moneyweb, Reuters, RMB, Aljazeera, and Bloomberg Markets, etc