Consumer confidence indicators remained on a positive trend in the eurozone. In the US, over half of S&P 500 companies have already published their annual figures reflecting a 4.5% average increase in profits during the fourth quarter. Although US growth came in at disappointing 1.6% in 2016, in line with Europe, fresh encouraging signals are nonetheless currently discernible, including a weekly fall in the number of jobseekers, pending the much-anticipated budgetary stimulus measures promised through tax cuts and increased public spending (Trumpflation).
The bond-market situation is becoming complicated in the eurozone, as long term rates, particularly in France and Italy, remain under pressure, reflecting a resurgence of political risk ahead of forthcoming elections in both countries. Equity markets are still digesting the new monetary and economic regime orchestrated by the rhetoric from Donald Trump, who is assiduously applying his radical programme to the letter, somewhat ideologically, through a series of measures which have unsettled even his most faithful allies, including Theresa May and her fellow British citizens.
To conclude this weekly letter, following the US decree prohibiting nationals from certain countries from entering the US, we would like to quote, without any ulterior motive, these few lines of verse from the well-known sonnet, The New Colossus, by the great American poet Emma Lazarus. The poem can be read on the breast of the Statue of Liberty where it was engraved in 1903:
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”
Cries she with silent lips.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Igor de Maack, Fund manager and spokesperson at DNCA. This article was finalised in February 3rd, 2017.
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