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Move along, nothing to see here | Calamatta Cuschieri

Some themes starting to emerge, but markets still looking for direction in the first full week of 2017

calamatta_cuschieri
Calamatta Cuschieri
10 January 2017, 11:40am
We’ll just have to wait and see if the 45th President of the United States lives up to his promise of stimulus
We’ll just have to wait and see if the 45th President of the United States lives up to his promise of stimulus
Stock markets started off the week slightly on the back foot, prices in sovereign bonds rose and oil slid significantly as we kicked off the first full week of the New Year. I am struggling to describe the action as anything but ‘more of the same’ right now. Markets up, markets down, markets mixed… Some chunkier bits of news have hit the wires today but we are still far off from establishing any sort of trend in 2017.

That’s not too surprising given the strong rally we had over the year end. Trump’s presidential victory, the promise of stimulus, the Fed’s cautious hawkishness, better data from Europe… The market may just be taking a breather.

First on the agenda – Trump’s inauguration. What do we know so far? Meryl Streep probably isn’t on the guest list. Anything else? Not really, we’ll just have to wait and see if the 45th President of the United States lives up to his promise of (somewhat priced in) stimulus.

Brexit turns hard, again

In the first significant piece of news so far this year, Theresa May has underscored that the UK is headed – in all probability – for a ‘hard’ Brexit, giving up access to the single market in favour of total control over immigration and ending the European Court of Justice’s remit across the Channel.

“Often people talk in terms as if we are leaving the EU but we still want to keep bits of membership of the EU. We’re leaving, we’re coming out,” she said.

Theresa May has underscored that the UK is headed – in all probability – for a ‘hard’ Brexit
Theresa May has underscored that the UK is headed – in all probability – for a ‘hard’ Brexit
Probably the strongest statement yet by the UK’s Prime Minister about the country’s intentions, and words which the currency market was quick to catch upon. Sterling hit multi-week lows against its major peers. One Euro now buys 87 pence, and you need less than $1.22 to buy one Great Britain Pound.

CES spotlight

If you’re a tech fan, chances are you’re aware that the annual Consumer Electronics Show is currently in full swing in Las Vegas. The tech Mecca showcases – as customary – the latest in audio, visual and virtual tech. Anything from TVs, audio systems, the internet of things, smart schtuff... you name it.

What has gotten me excited though, is AMD making a return to the enthusiast and high-end processor market with its 8-core Ryzen processors. AMD cleared the chip for landing in Q1 2017, announced a slew of multi-core chips, compatible motherboards across various chipsets and manufacturers, and promised long-term support for the AM4 socket the processor drops into.

Pricing is still unavailable right now, but if history is anything to go by AMD will probably price their hardware below Intel’s equivalent offerings. Even if that’s not the case, the release of a competing processor in the high-end arena is good news as it threatens Intel – which has just released the latest generation of processors code-named Kaby Lake – and its iron grip on the market.

This article was issued by Andrew Martinelli, Investment Manager at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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