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MoneyWeek Issue 963

There's a reason MoneyWeek is Britain's best-selling financial magazine. We exist to help you ground your portfolio so that it keeps your money safe during rough patches and growing in the good times. We don't just look at how to maximise your returns and limit your losses, we also like to look at how you can keep more of the money you've made. Week-in, week-out we'll guide you through the financial world as it changes, alerting you to all the opportunities to profit and dangers to avoid, as they appear. Income strategies, rising-star companies, the best funds and trusts, clever ways to preserve your wealth during market turmoil... you will get the best ideas from the sharpest financial minds and investing professionals in Britain.

País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Dennis Publishing UK
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from the editor-in-chief...

It’s been a bad week for Marks & Spencer (see below). With its share price half of what it was five years ago, one of our most iconic retailers has been fairly unceremoniously chucked out of the FTSE 100 index. This is hardly a surprise. Younger generations haven’t taken to its clothing lines. The food business is hideously competitive. And M&S is dealing with almost non-stop disruption in the retail environment in the UK. However, given that it was the fifth-largest firm in the index when it launched in the 1980s, the expulsion is still no small humiliation. On the plus side, it is worth noting that M&S still makes a profit and that it pays a yield of 7% (with the dividend nearly twice covered by profits). That makes it…

access_time2 min.
scam of the week

A manager at an unnamed UK energy firm has fallen prey to a “deepfake” scam, which led him to transfer almost £200,000 of his company’s money to fraudsters, says The Daily Telegraph. He received a phone call that “accurately mimicked” his boss’s accent and style of speaking. He was told to send €220,000 urgently to a Hungarian bank account, and was assured that the amount would be repaid soon. When it wasn’t, he grew suspicious. While he was on the phone to his real boss, the fake boss called again and the fraud was discovered. Insurance firm Euler Hermes said that email scams of this sort are common, but it was the first time it has heard of criminals successfully imitating a person‘s voice. But it won’t be the last,…

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china toughs out trade tensions

“Sad! And self-defeating,” says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. It’s now clear that Donald Trump’s “ill-advised gambit of tariffs and bombast” is hurting both the US and China. Yet a president who must face the voters next year is in a much worse position to “stoically withstand the pain” than a tightly-controlled one-party state. Global stocks swooned early this week amid the introduction of new tariffs by both sides of the trans-Pacific rift. Washington imposed duties on $112bn (£92bn) of Chinese consumer imports including shoes, nappies and food. Beijing started applying tariffs on $75bn of US products, including a 5% charge on crude oil imports. By the end of the year there will be levies on “nearly everything that comes to the United States from China”, say Quoctrung Bui and…

access_time1 min.
japan versus south korea: asia’s other trade war

“Decades of bickering” between South Korea and Japan are feeding an increasingly nasty trade dispute, says The Economist. In August, Tokyo removed its neighbour from a “White List” of trusted export destinations, prompting Seoul to respond in kind. South Korea’s chipmakers rely on imports of chemicals from Japan, but Tokyo is “signalling that it could at any moment cripple” Korea’s biggest industry, a “wildly aggressive, disproportionate threat”. The new trade war is not helping South Korea’s export-dependent economy, say Sam Kim and Hooyeon Kim in Bloomberg. Korea’s trade data serves “as a barometer of global demand”. Yet exports fell by 13.6% year-on-year in August, the ninth consecutive month of contraction. Removal from the White List means that Japanese exporters will have to go through a lengthy application process to sell certain goods…

access_time1 min.
topsy-turvy stocks and bonds

Negative bond yields are “scrambling... basic assumptions of financial markets,” says John Authers on Bloomberg. The dividend yield of the S&P 500 index is now higher than the yield on the 30-year US Treasury bond. That hasn’t happened since the financial crisis. Yet back then the so-called “yield gap” closed because of plunging stock prices. This time the 30-year bond yield that has plunged as debt prices have rocketed. The yield gap between equities and bonds reversed some time ago in UK markets, and now America has followed the trend, says Jeremy Warner in The Daily Telegraph. Stock investors need less protection against inflation than bond investors because companies can grow profits and dividends, while a bond coupon remains fixed. So the post-war norm has been for equities to yield less…

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viewpoint

“Global fund managers [have trimmed] their allocation to equities yet again by 1% to 44.6% – the lowest representation since November 2016. The shift out of stocks was the fifth in a row (monthly)… as investors heed the deflationary message from the fixed-income market rather than look at the situation as a view that bonds are … overly expensive… It makes sense when you consider what the unprecedented level of global trade, political and economic uncertainty has done to global business spending plans. [Meanwhile] gold prices continue to rally even in the face of a strong US dollar, which is a durable sign of a secular bull market in bullion… Gold is firming… in all currency terms, which is overwhelmingly bullish. Not only are central banks rebalancing their reserves [towards]…

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