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  • Cool Heads Episode 2: Alex Wright beyond Brexit weblink

    White papers 17 October 2019

    In the second episode of our Cool Heads show, portfolio manager Alex Wright talks about how UK companies are faring amid Brexit uncertainty and the impact on corporate earnings, while Natalie Briggs looks at changes in EU-UK trade and supply chains.

  • Further Fed easing could create opportunities in credit weblink

    White papers 17 October 2019

    The Fed has been an unwilling participant in the new round of race-to-the-bottom policy loosening by major central banks. But it is still likely to resort to a combination of rate cuts and balance sheet growth in response to rising recession risk. In the ensuing ‘bull steepener’ of the US treasury yield curve, credit investors should prepare for widening spreads that offer better entry points and increase their odds of producing excess returns.

  • Risk premium rises after attack on Saudi oil hobbles global supply weblink

    White papers 16 October 2019

    The weekend drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure has taken 5.7 million barrels per day of crude production - roughly 5 per cent of global supply - and 2 billion cubic feet of associated gas offline, the largest outage since the first Gulf War.

  • Cool Heads: Fidelity CEO Anne Richards on Brexit and fragmentation weblink

    White papers 16 October 2019

    Having hiked nine times in the past four years, the Fed has just reversed course and, as expected, implemented a 25 bps rate cut. Although the US economy is still expanding at a relatively healthy pace, continued below-target inflation, a slump in business investment, and the prolonged presence of external uncertainties provided sufficient reason for a precautionary cut.

  • Hunting for yield in frontier markets: Egypt weblink

    White papers 15 October 2019

    When smaller frontier markets put their financial houses in order and mature into benchmark names, early investors can earn attractive returns in these relatively niche, often overlooked places. Here we look at one example, Egypt.

  • Negative interest rates: a bold but dangerous experiment weblink

    White papers 14 October 2019

    As the global economy slows and monetary policy approaches its limits, negative interest rates could spread. We shouldn’t be blasé about such a policy. It could have far-reaching effects across the financial system, especially in banking. In this unusual environment, investors may wish to favour growth companies that can outperform for longer, rather than locking in guaranteed losses on safe but negative yielding securities.

  • FLI: Surprisingly upbeat into Q4 weblink

    White papers 9 October 2019

    The Fidelity Leading Indicator (FLI) has once again shrugged off an additional round of US-China tariffs, with September’s reading pointing firmly towards positive and improving global growth. However, mixed signals from the underlying components suggest an uneven and subdued recovery as we enter 2020. Overall, the FLI recommends a neutral position on risk assets and global duration.

  • Investment Outlook Q4 2019: Bending, not breaking weblink

    White papers 7 October 2019

    If investors wanted a quiet summer period, they didn’t get it. The third quarter saw no resolutions to the many risks weighing on the markets and introduced a few new ones. But, for now, the economy is bending, not breaking.

  • Mounting risks in 2020, despite central banks’ best efforts weblink

    White papers 4 October 2019

    Central bank monetary policy looks to be approaching its limits and the calls for fiscal stimulus are getting louder. If the weakness we are seeing in business investment impacts consumer sentiment and employment, it could hasten a shift in the political landscape. Looking ahead, investors should be ready in case they need to make sudden changes in their portfolios as the macroeconomic and political environments evolve.

  • What Warren Buffett gets wrong about gold weblink

    White papers 3 October 2019

    Contrary to Warren Buffett’s complaints about gold, it’s constantly offering useful insights if you look closely enough.

  • Volatility is a double-edged sword that investors can’t live without weblink

    White papers 3 October 2019

    Fears around trade wars, inverting yield curves and economic slowdowns have put investors on edge. After an extended period of low volatility, we could be in for a rude awakening. On the other hand, a better understanding of volatility and its role in portfolios can help investors to position themselves for any turbulence ahead.

  • Timing of Trump impeachment could further weaken global economy weblink

    White papers 3 October 2019

    The impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump could not have come at a worse time for the already-faltering US and global economy. Historically, impeachments have tended to hit consumer sentiment which could further intensify the slowdown. The need for fiscal stimulus is now more acute than ever and requires cooperation across government. The last thing the US or the world economy needs at the moment is gridlock on Capitol Hill.

  • China tiptoes down easing street with rate reform weblink

    White papers 2 October 2019

    While the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are signaling more rate cuts and quantitative easing to come, China’s central bank has been taking a more cautious approach even as it pushes ahead with reforms to a new benchmark lending rate.

  • Pushing against the tide weblink

    White papers 30 September 2019

    Recent news reports that the Trump administration is considering ways to restrict US investors’ portfolio flows into China are a cause for concern but would be a great challenge to implement. They are also the latest example of pushing against the tide when it comes to trends in global finance, both regarding China’s internationalisation and the rise of sustainable investing.

  • September's Rich Pickings podcast: The question of corporate profits weblink

    White papers 30 September 2019

    “Profits growth has been more anaemic than the market thinks. I find that troubling,” says portfolio manager Bill McQuaker in this month’s Rich Pickings, the podcast that puts you in the room of the monthly asset allocation debrief. Are investors overestimating profits?

  • India’s tax cut hits the reset button weblink

    White papers 27 September 2019

    India’s surprise $20 billion tax cut has revitalised the stock market, providing a welcome boost for equity investors as the country grapples with an economic downturn. This move is likely to increase India’s competitiveness within the region, attracting investment from global companies impacted by trade disputes and looking at diversifying supply chains by setting up production facilities outside China.

  • ESGenius: Will flight shame take off? weblink

    White papers 27 September 2019

    Flight shame, or the guilt travellers feel about the harmful emissions produced by air travel, is starting to reduce passenger numbers in Sweden. If this behaviour spreads to the rest of Europe, and in particular begins to influence corporates to cut down on flights, European airlines face a threat to which there is no obvious solution.

  • Global GEARs suggest stable and subdued activity, now near levels of recent troughs weblink

    White papers 20 September 2019

    Our proprietary Gauges of Economic Activity in Real-Time (GEARs) showed broadly stable activity in August. Our Global GEAR, an unweighted average across all countries, nudged higher and is now dead flat year-to-date. Overall, GEARs are consistent with the trough activity levels seen in 2012-2013 and 2015-2016. We recovered from both of those cyclical slowdowns - will this time really be different?

  • Fed cuts by another 25 bps, but a cut doesn't cut it anymore weblink

    White papers 19 September 2019

    The US Federal Reserve (Fed) today cut rates by 25 basis points, following on from its 25 basis point cut in July. This move was widely expected, and markets should be relatively unmoved, although, more disappointingly for investors, the Fed’s ‘dot plot’ of their projections for rates doesn’t show any consensus for further cuts this year.

  • Bank of Japan holds fire ahead of sales tax increase, but strikes a more dovish tone weblink

    White papers 19 September 2019

    The Bank of Japan is facing slowing growth both at home and abroad, as well as the risks posed by next month’s sales tax hike, which could dent consumption. On Thursday, the BOJ held monetary policy steady - as widely expected - and said it would pay “closer attention” to economic momentum and review economic and price trends at the next monetary policy meeting in October.

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