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Market Insights – July 27, 2020

As we start the week, gold prices have reached a record high and are nearing the symbolic threshold of USD 2,000 per ounce (around 31 grams). They have gained close to 7% in a week and 30% since the start of the year. Rises like these are rare outside of a financial crisis. The last period in which gold prices rose so sharply was during the 2008 subprime crisis and the eurozone sovereign debt crisis starting in 2010, when fears about the financial system were at their peak. Since then, systemic risks have dropped off sharply, so they don’t explain gold’s recent rally…

Market Insights – July 13, 2020

The automobile sector has been struggling since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, and carmakers have come up with some inventive ways of getting things moving again. They have, for example, let buyers get their new car now without having to pay anything until 2022. Governments seem to be taking a similar approach to debt at the moment…

Market Insights – July 6, 2020

All countries may be tempted to weaken their currencies during a global economic downturn, but the US usually wins at that game. This was certainly true in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis…

Market Insights – June 29

The main risk weighing on the global economy and the financial markets is the prospect of a second COVID-19 wave in developed countries. In addition to the hygiene and social-distancing rules that authorities almost everywhere are trying to keep in place, countries’ ability to conduct large-scale testing and contain clusters will be the determining factors until a vaccine is available…

Market Insights – June 8, 2020

The May jobs report in the USA came as a big surprise. April had been a harsh month – more than 20 million Americans filed jobless claims as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Most observers had expected the labour market to continue to worsen in May, with millions more jobs forecast to be wiped out and unemployment set to rise to nearly 20% of the working population. But fortunately this very gloomy outlook did not materialise…

Market Insights – June 2, 2020

There’s a well-known saying within the financial community: sell in May and go away. Historically speaking, stock markets tend to perform less well in the six months from May to October than they do in the six months from November to April. Of course, this is an average, long-term trend and it doesn’t happen like that every year. And it wouldn’t have been wise to follow this rule in recent years…

Market Insights – May 25, 2020

The Q1 earnings season is coming to an end. When you look at how stock markets have risen in recent weeks, it’s hard to believe that US corporates recorded a more than 13% drop in earnings, the sharpest decline since the 2008 financial crisis…

Market Insights – May 18, 2020

COVID-19 is the first real test of the resilience of sustainable investments since the 2008 global financial crisis. And the pandemic has bought to light the materiality of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in financial markets…

Market Insights – May 11, 2020

Despite Chairman Thomas Jordan’s denials in Switzerland’s Sunday press, the SNB may have set a new limit for the EUR/CHF exchange rate at 1.05 – at least for the short term. Although financial and forex markets have been extremely volatile since the pandemic hit Europe…

Market Insights – May 4, 2020

As expected, the eurozone economy has fallen into recession, shrinking 3.8% in the first quarter as the lockdown measures brought economic activity to a standstill. This crisis is very different from the one back in 2008…