South African financial assets have recently enjoyed strong gains on the back of the election of the perceived market reformist Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the country’s ruling political party, the African National Congress (ANC), in December. The country’s currency, the rand, in particular appreciated strongly in December, gaining more than 10% against the US dollar for calendar 2017. Since making a cyclical bottom in January 2016, the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (NYSEARCA:EZA) has nearly doubled.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the United States (U.S.) Exploration and Production (E&P) sector (NYSEARCA:XOP), and in particular address some of the narratives or perhaps “myths” that continue to depress valuations in the sector or at least with respect to the smaller or mid-tier producers.
Blurb-In this article we discuss the relationship between the US Dollar (NYSEARCA:UUP) and crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO), arguably the most important currency and commodity in the global economy today. http://www.seekingalpha.com/article/4121543
In this article, we take a more detailed look at the most recent EIA productivity report released for October 2017 and assess what, if anything, the data means for US oil production and energy prices (NYSE:USO) as well as companies in the energy sector (NYSE:XLE) moving forward. Click here to read more
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One of the conundrums of the current economic expansion in the United States has been the tepid wage growth evident in the recovery thus far. Although wage growth has picked up somewhat over the past year, it remains in a band between 2.5% and 3% and below the levels of wage growth seen prior to the last recession in 2007. This conundrum is all the more perplexing, given that the official unemployment rate has continued to decline to a new cycle low of 4.4%.
US equity markets have rallied strongly since the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, with investors largely choosing to focus on the prospective positive aspects of his administration and the scope for large corporate tax cuts, as well as a reduction in regulation. However, as we have detailed in previous articles, given Trump’s apparent protectionist instincts and anti-immigration views, there are also potential negative aspects associated with his presidency- which, broadly speaking, financial markets have chosen to ignore.
What does the future hold for traditional banks?
The rise of new technologies has allowed for improved mobile connectivity, cloud computing and the 'Bitcoin' phenomenon. This has led to an increasingly negative narrative with regard to the future of existing traditional banks. Newer entrants into the financial services realm such as Paypal and Square are seen as potentially successful 'disruptors' of an industry facing increased scrutiny and regulatory zeal. Venture capital companies are clamoring to invest in new peer-to-peer lending schemes, with many seeing this as the future for lending into the next decade and beyond.