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Chalkboard with books, pen pot and graduation cap on the desk.
The Labour government's proposal to introduce VAT on private school fees marks a significant shift in the UK's educational and fiscal landscape. Currently, private school fees are exempt from VAT, which provides financial relief to many families opting for private education. The new proposal aims to address funding disparities between private and public education while increasing tax revenues.
Tech boom and global main image
Markets have generally slowed down expectations of the pace of rate cuts as data had continued to signal stronger than expected inflation. However, the Fed did indicate earlier this week that inflation is coming down. Despite pushing back expected rate cuts, equity markets continued to push towards all-time highs in the second quarter, buoyed by US technology companies and the ongoing exuberance surrounding artificial intelligence (AI).
Close up of AI chip
As bond yields declined earlier this year, the equity market rally broadened in the middle of the second quarter, meaning more stocks started gaining value across a wider range of sectors.
hand places card in ballot box with French flag behind
Following his dismal performance in the European Parliament elections on 9 June, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a snap election, an effort to discredit Marine Le Pen’s populist National Rally as a serious party of government.
people waving small Indian flags
We are halfway through an election year when more global voters – some 49% of the world’s population – are heading to the polls, the most ever.
Outside the ECB
The ECB cut interest rates by 0.25% to 3.75%, marking the first decline in five years, contrasting with fewer expected cuts from the Fed and BoE. While the starting gun on the rate cutting cycle has started, regional differences will result in a widening gap between central banks.
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's decision to bring forward the general election to 4 July was unexpected, yet it has caused little market reaction. Labour is widely accepted to win the upcoming election, with expectations for policies promoting a pro-business and pro-worker environment, emphasising sustainable growth, labour market modernisation, and fair pay
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Companies are taking advantage of discounted bond prices to buy back debt at a reduced cost, effectively allowing them to pay less while reducing their debt by the full par value. With central banks maintaining high interest rates, more companies are expected to pursue similar debt reduction opportunities over the next 12 to 18 months, enhancing their credit metrics and financial stability.
A blue to let sign, displayed in front of a row of read brick houses with white windows.
Markets had a strong start to the year as it appeared likely a soft landing would be achieved. Although investors pared back the number of expected rate cuts this year, this came as a result of a more resilient global economy. Furthermore, it seemed as though central banks had successfully muted inflationary pressures with their series of rapid interest rate hikes.
upward view of the Bank of England against background of blue skies
Some of the world’s most renowned investors have made their fortunes by betting long – buying a stock, commodity or currency expecting the value to go up. Warren Buffett is probably the most recognised investor who adopted this approach.

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