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  • Week in review – 10th August 2018

    The week in review:
    - Sterling falls on Brexit worries
    - US economic momentum maintained
    - US/China trade dispute ratchets up
    - Oil demand falls

  • Week in review – 3rd August 2018

    The week in review:
    - US interest rates remain unchanged
    - Bank of England interest rate increases by 0.25%
    - US/China trade relations deteriorate
    - Sovereign bond yields rise
    - Gold price falls

  • Week in review – 27th July 2018

    The week in review:
    - EU/US trade relations improve
    - Highly valued US technology stocks wobble
    - FTSE 100 share buy backs prominent
    - Oil ends three week losing streak

  • Week in review – 20th July 2018

    The week in review:
    - UK CPI data falls short of expectations
    - President Trump and President Putin meet in Helsinki
    - EU preparing rebalancing measures if trade dispute continues
    - Oil posts its third weekly loss

  • Week in review – 13th July 2018

    The week in review:
    - Brexit uncertainty hits sterling
    - US- China trade war begins
    - Base metal prices fall in response
    - China eases market access rules

  • Week in review – 6th July 2018

    The week in review:
    - UK economic data rebounds
    - US economy maintains momentum
    - Trade tariffs become reality
    - Asian markets underperform over protectionsism

  • Week in review – 29th June 2018

    The week in review:
    - Oil price touches year high
    - EU purchasing manager index (PMI) re-assures
    - UK housing market slows
    - China equity market enters bear market territory
    - Sovereign bond yields move lower

  • Week in review – 22nd June 2018

    The week in review:
    - UK interest rate remains unchanged
    - Trade tensions hurt risk appetite
    - Sovereign bond yields fall
    - Nasdaq touches a new high

  • Week in review – 15th June 2018

    The week in review:
    - The Federal Reserve increases its interest rate
    - ECB announces the end of Quantitative Easing
    - Brexit hits the headlines again
    - Oil price retreats on the prospect of increased supply

  • Week in review – 8th June 2018

    The week in review:
    - Spain swears in new PM after vote of no confidence
    - US Macro data beats estimates
    - NASDAQ hits new record high
    - The central bank in Turkey hike rates by 1.25%
    - Oil price continues to rise following supply issues

  • Week in review – 1st June 2018

    The week in review:
    - Geo-political risks move to the fore
    - Italy and Spain political uncertainty unnerves markets
    - Protectionism moves a step closer to reality
    - Benchmark Treasuries remain safe havens

  • FEN Notice of AGM 30 May 2018

  • Week in review – 25th May 2018

    • UK inflation falls to 2.4%
    • UK Q1 2018 growth remains muted
    • FTSE 100 index retreats from record highs
    • US puts a potential China trade war on hold
    • President Trump cancels North Korea summit

  • Week in review – 18th May 2018

    The week in review:
    - FTSE 100 closed yesterday at a new record of 7,787
    - UK average wages surpass inflation
    - UK unemployment remains steady at 4.2%
    - US 10yr Treasury yield moves to a 7 year high
    - Brent crude oil trades at its highest level since December 2014

  • Week in review – 11th May 2018

    The week in review:
    - Bank of England leaves UK interest rates unchanged
    - UK inflation falls to 2.5%
    - US unemployment rate falls to 3.9%, a 17 year low
    - President Trump withdraws from Iran Nuclear accord
    - Merger & acquisition activity accelerates

  • Deputy Day 2018 Speaker Presentations Available

    We are pleased to provide the presentations from the Speakers at Deputy Day 3rd May 2018.

    We are very proud to sponsor this event and thank you to everyone that attended.

  • Week in review – 4th May 2018

    The week in review:
    - Federal Reserve holds interests unchanged
    - Amber Rudd quits as Home Secretary
    - UK GDP figures falls short of estimates
    - USD continues to strengthen
    - Eurozone inflation falls short of forecast

  • Week in review – 27th April 2018

    The week in review:
    - US and China trade conflict worries recede
    - US 10 year Treasury yield moves above 3%
    - European Central Bank leaves interest rates unchanged
    - Oil price touches US$75 per barrel, its highest level since November 2014

  • Week in review – 20th April 2018

    The week in review:
    - Market volatility continues globally
    - Oil outperforms
    - 10 Year Treasury yield moves higher
    - UK CPI retracts to 2.5% from 2.7% in February
    - UK unemployment rate falls to 4.2%

  • Week in review – 13th April 2018

    The week in review:
    - Market volatility continues globally
    - President Trump’s tweets take centre stage
    - Geo-political risks rise materially
    - Oil price touches a three year high
    - Gold rallies with safe haven assets rising

  • Week in review – 6th April 2018

    The week in review
    - Market volatility continues globally
    - Tech stocks continue to suffer
    - U.S and China begin tariff negotiations
    - Euro area’s CPI falls short of forecast
    - FTSE 100 has worst first quarter since 2009

  • Week in review – 29th March 2018

    The week in review:
    - Market volatility continues globally
    - Sovereign bond yields compress
    - Merger and acquisition activity prevalent
    - A year to go until Brexit

  • Week in review – 23rd March 2018

    The week in review:
    - UK inflation falls to 2.7%
    - Fed to increase rate by 0.25% to 1.75%
    - President Trump imposes tariffs on China
    - Vladmir Putin secures another 6 year term
    - G20 warns against protectionism

  • Week in review – 16th March 2018

    The week in review
    - 9 years since the ‘great financial crisis’
    - UK Spring Statement
    - Theresa May orders the expulsion of Russian diplomats
    - Protectionism trends evident
    - Brexit details remain unresolved.

  • Deputy Day Programme – Thursday 3rd May 2018

    Please see the full programme of our Deputy Day which is being held at 30 Euston Square on Thursday 3rd May 2018.

  • Week in review – 9th March 2018

    The week in review
    - US imposes tariffs on steel and aluminium
    - ECB policy unchanged
    - Brexit – financial services a sticking point
    - Italy - a hung parliament
    - Germany- coalition formed
    - UK retail continues to struggle

  • Lauren is running the London Marathon

    Lauren Walsh, Welfare Benefits Caseworker at Frenkel Topping, will be running the London Marathon on 22nd April 2018 in aid of local charity, Headway Preston and Chorley.

  • Week in review – 2nd March 2018

    The week in review
    - Federal Reserve Chairman’s hawkish testimony
    - US trade protectionism accelerating
    - Merger & acquisition activity gathers pace
    - Geo-political – Italian election

  • Week in review – 23rd February 2018

    The week in review
    - It was a notable week for U.S. government bond issuance
    - U.K unemployment increased from 4.3% to 4.4%
    - Prime Minister Theresa May faced another Brexit headache
    - Emerging Markets Equity - South Africa Update

  • Welfare Benefits Review

    In January 2018, we identified an additional £73,424 in welfare benefits that our clients could be potentially missing out on.

    As well as carrying out full welfare benefit assessments, we are experienced in assisting clients who have received negative benefit decisions. We are able to challenge decisions directly with the benefit agency and provide representation at appeal hearings if necessary.

  • Week in review – 16th February 2018

    The week in review
    - Equity markets settle down
    - UK inflation remains at 3%
    - US announces its infrastructure plan
    - Oil price retreats from 12 month high

  • Week in review – 9th February 2018

    - Global equities fall sharply before stabilising
    - Investor fear index rebounds
    - Jerome Powell sworn in as the 16th Federal Reserve Chairman
    - Sterling’s rally peters out
    - A coalition German government is formed

  • Week in review – 2nd February 2018

    The week in review
    - Benchmark sovereign bond yields rise
    - Equity markets retreat into month end
    - PM May signs trade deal with China
    - Trump’s State of the Union address
    - Europe’s economy remains strong

  • Week in review – 26th January 2018

    The week in review:
    - Sterling rallies vs G10 currencies
    - ECB holds its interest rates
    - US Government shut down ends
    - First signs of US protectionism
    - Merger & acquisitions (M&A) accelerate

  • Deputy Day – Thursday 3rd May 2018

    Frenkel Topping are pleased to announce details of their forthcoming conference for 2018.

    Following the success of the 2017 conference which was held at Euston Square we will be returning there for our 2018 Deputy Day on Thursday 3rd May.

    Further information will follow in due course.

    Please save the date for what will be another outstanding event.

  • UK & EU strike deal opening path for trade talks

    Global assets recovered from risk-off sentiment that took hold of global markets mid-week. The selloff saw a host of reasons, ranging from profit-taking to the continued drop in technology stocks. Trump administration is actively moving ahead with its campaign promises after months of hits and misses. Last week’s progress in US tax overhaul was a major milestone, which continued to buoy assets this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named eight Republican lawmakers to be part of the conference committee responsible for negotiating a final tax bill with GOP House lawmakers. It is planned to resolve differences between the two versions over the next two weeks.

  • Senate passes the Republican tax overhaul

    There was enough fodder for market volatility this week. Particularly, the US stock market has lately come a little untethered from its foundation in earnings and economic growth and started turning all its focus on politics. The passage of US tax reform stole the glory off the OPEC production cut extension. The Dow recorded new highs, as Senate Republicans narrowly approved the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, slashing the corporate tax rate and providing temporary tax-rate cuts. The 51-49 vote brings the GOP close to delivering a much-needed policy win for their party and President Donald Trump. After the vote, President Trump said on Twitter that he looks forward to signing a final bill before Christmas. Attention now shifts to a House-Senate conference committee that will be charged with hashing out the differences in the bills and preparing a final version for both chambers to consider.

  • Oil prices up – extension of OPEC of production cuts

    The main headlines of the week revolved around the upcoming major events. UK’s attempts to achieve breakthrough in talks at December summit, oil march as OPEC nears production cut review and the vote on Senate’s version of tax plan after thanksgiving has kept asset prices sensitive to future events.

    The Senate’s version of tax plan was released this week and Republican leaders plan a vote around Nov. 30. A deal is within reach if Republicans are willing to compromise on the size of tax cuts. Meanwhile, the Obamacare issue looms in the background, threatening at least one GOP senator’s vote. The mandate repeal still appears much more likely to stay in the bill, where it helps offset more than $300 billion in additional tax cuts. It’s also crucial to President Donald Trump’s goal of making corporate tax cuts permanent under the Senate’s budget rules.

  • Volatility continues – Global Threats Remain

    The week saw huge swings in global markets, particularly in the U.S. as shares saw the biggest drop in two months after touching record highs a week earlier.
    Last week we notified our clients regarding our decision to move 100% to cash and in hindsight, this looked to have been perfect timing to avoid the volatile environment markets saw this week. Our timely decision, meant that our Safety First funds avoided such volatility and protected our annual returns, which are exactly in line with our goals.

    We continue to monitor events and look for suitable opportunities to redeploy our funds. Markets are currently sensitive to tax cut reform progress in the U.S., the Senate election in Alabama, and earnings reports. This week saw lofty valuations, the flattening of the yield curve and a selloff in junk bonds adding to global investor concerns.

  • The yearbook is now available to download for 2017

    Over the last year I have been honoured to serve as the Chief Investment Officer of Frenkel Topping Investment Management, being tasked with the incredibly important job of preserving your capital, outperforming inflation after costs and protecting you from the volatility of financial markets.

    The DNA of Safety First has always been to first preserve and protect your capital. We are never afraid to move out of markets and to transition to one hundred per cent cash, when there is a global event that could give rise to unpredictable volatility. Safety First’s incorporates a vitally important benchmark unconstrained approach, which is a crucial investment tool available to enable me in my capacity as Chief Investment Officer to protect your capital from the dangers posed by uncertain markets. Safety First’s purpose is to deliver a smooth investment experience, where volatility is managed in a way that preserves capital over the longer term. As Chief Investment Officer, it is my responsibility to navigate Safety First through the potential dangers posed by any number of geo-political or macro-economic events, which appear to be occurring ever more frequently.

    Here you will find a year book of Chief Investment Officer’s weekly newsletters enclosed that covers my thoughts over a tumultuous investment year, which I hope you find of interest.

  • Back to Cash – Geopolitical risks spread across markets

    On Monday 6 November 2017, I took the decision to move all our Safety-First portfolios to 100% cash. Since I launched our Safety-First range of portfolios I have taken them to 100% cash several times to dampen volatility and avoid geopolitical risks where those risks were foreseeable. It is a unique approach which has served our clients well. Even our most adventurous Safety-First portfolio has less than [5%] volatility throughout 2017, protecting and preserving our client’s capital – our first priority.

    We avoided the volatility and potential losses of Brexit, the US elections, the European elections and other geo-political events through 2017.
    We are now perfectly positioned to redeploy our client’s capital as asset classes find lower levels and global macro risks recede. If that does not happen in 2017, we have locked in strong risk adjusted returns across all our Safety-First portfolios for our clients.

  • Bank of England undertakes a dovish hike

    There was no shortage of potential catalysts for investors this week. However, the response was relatively muted as things turned out to be as per expectations. Fed stayed, indicating a hike in December, BOJ kept on hold while the BOE, though pursued a rate hike as per consensus, the dovish tone resulted in GBP selloff, falling 1% to $1.31.

    Federal Reserve officials reinforced expectations for a December interest-rate increase by subtly upgrading their assessment of the US economy while staying on hold this month. Pricing in federal funds futures contracts implied an 85% probability of a quarter-point move next month.

  • ASHE Provisional

    The ONS on Friday morning, 27th October 2017 released the provisional data set for ASHE 6145 & 6146 (6115 equivalent). This is the second year in a row that the data has been made available before mid-November. This will certainly help with the recalculation process for all Periodical Payments due to be paid on or before 15th December 2017. The noticeable headline for 2017 is the fact that from the 70th percentile the % increase in median wages has not been as high as the rate of inflation measured by both RPI and CPI. Having spoken to the ONS I have confirmed that that the 12 month increase for these measures of inflation are 3.9% and 3.0% respectively.

  • ECB Goes Lower for Longer

    In the US, as investors witnessed the busiest days of the earnings season at the same time the political wrangling in Washington persisted at a breakneck pace. House Republicans adopted the budget resolution unlocking a process to cut taxes by the end of the year. The next step will be releasing a draft tax measure on Nov. 1.

    President Donald Trump continued to string out his decision on the next Federal Reserve leader this week, giving mixed signals on his preference. By the end of the week, stakes of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell being appointed were high, as President Trump seem to prefer him over others. The speculation is soon going to end in the coming week, as the Fed chair is expected to be announced on Nov. 3.

  • Major central bank decision on the way

    The rally in risk assets extended this week. Major market moving events included Trump administration’s significant step towards tax overhaul, as the Senate narrowly approved a budget vehicle for tax cuts with an all-Republican vote of 51-49. The House and Senate tax-writing committees plan to release draft legislation by early November, which will set off a furious lobbying battle, as Republicans attempt to enact a bill by the end of the year.
    Regarding attempts to defeat Obamacare, Trump’s administration showed leniency this week, as senators stated they have reached a bipartisan deal on fixes to stabilize Obamacare. Should the deal become law, it could alleviate the chaos for insurers, following last week’s moves including a cut in subsidies. The two-year deal would allow crucial subsidies to health insurers to start flowing again, potentially lowering insurance premiums for those in the program next year. This comes just two weeks before Americans start signing up for 2018 coverage.

  • US Inflation proves to be structural

    Global stock markets this week rose to record highs amid various economic releases reiterating global economic strength and multiple geopolitical developments including Catalonia crisis, rising tensions between US and Iran, upcoming elections in Europe and Japan. Particularly, US stocks climbed to record highs and 10-year treasuries rallied after a core inflation reading slowed, adding to evidence that economic growth continues apace without stoking price increases. The hurricane-driven boost to the US cost of living in September fell short of projections, as the September CPI rose 0.5% month on month. The less volatile core CPI rose 0.1% month on month, following 0.2% gain; up 1.7% year on year. Another Commerce Department consumer-inflation measure, preferred by the Fed, is running below the central bank’s 2% target, with a 1.4% gain in the 12 months through August.

  • Geopolitics overshadow US Jobs results

    Just as positive economic releases were bolstering confidence in global economic strength, markets again changed course as geopolitical tensions returned with a Russian news agency reporting that North Korea may test a missile this weekend. This dampened demand for risk assets and led a rally in safe havens. The CBOE Volatility Index rose 10%, the most in a month, after closing at a record low Thursday. Earlier in the week, global shares were on firm footing, amid strengthening economic data. US investors also considered the prospects that Congress will enact a pro-growth tax plan and ongoing speculation that President Donald Trump will opt for a Fed Chair who might pursue more aggressive policy tightening.

  • North Korea tensions ratchet up

    The major event earlier in the week was the Fed policy meet. The central bank stood pat on the interest rate and continues to forecast a hike by year end, saying hurricane damage won’t derail an otherwise healthy expansion. This caught markets by surprise, as can be reflected in the implied probabilities of an interest rate hike in December, which jumped from near 20% to above 60% in a matter of minutes. In the statement, the Fed set October for the start of their previously announced plan to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet becoming the first central bank in history to reduce its QE program. Officials announced the reduction process will start next month at a pace of $10 billion a month, which will gradually increase to $30 billion a month. This would take over 30 years to finalize the process.

  • Markets growing resilient to North Korea’s provocations

    Fears that North Korea may launch another missile test on its founding day waned as the country choose to issue threats against the US ahead of a vote in the United Nations on further sanctions. North Korea threatened to sink Japan into the sea with a nuclear strike and turn the US into ashes and darkness for agreeing to the latest UN sanctions. This did not preclude the UN member nations to intensify the protest against North Korea as the United Nations placed further sanctions.

  • Risk off moves return

    Markets pursued a risk off approach with havens including gold and the yen rallied as North Korea tensions and natural disasters unsettled investors. The Trump administration is seeking to ratchet up pressure on North Korea after the country tested what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb on Sunday, following several successful tests of ballistic missiles with intercontinental range. The geopolitical threat lingers as it is widely anticipated that Pyongyang may test a missile this weekend to coincide with its founding day on Sept. 9. President Donald Trump stated it’s not inevitable that the US will wind up in a war with North Korea over its continued development of nuclear weapons, though military action remains an option.

  • Strengthening economic backdrop despite geopolitical tensions

    The week started with renewed geopolitical tensions after reports that North Korean fired a missile over Japan. President Trump said that all options are under consideration in response to the latest provocation. The United Nations stated that it strongly condemns the action, but did not seek to escalate sanctions against the Pyongyang regime. The initial market reaction to the test was a sharp rush into haven assets, which saw the yen and gold rallying, while the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries dropped below 2.1% for the first time since November.

  • Political drama proving tough to trade

    There was little top-tier economic data out this week with much of the attention towards this year’s economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The two major Central bankers whom are expected to speak were Janet Yellen from Fed and ECB’s Mario Draghi. While Mario Draghi is due to give his speech, Yellen delivered a less hawkish tone than expected.

  • Promising economic data overshadowed by Geopolitical events

    Markets are settling down after a tumultuous few days spurred after terrorist attack in Barcelona, policy paralysis seen in the US and lingering tensions over North Korea. President Donald Trump is facing growing criticism within his own party for remarks equating neo-Nazis to counter-protesters in Virginia. In a heated press conference on Tuesday, he also criticized CEOs who are quitting his advisory council. Speculation that President Trump’s top economic aide Gary Cohn, was poised to resign also contributed to the market roil Thursday as US stocks plunged 1.5%. Traditional havens including gold and the yen gained with core bonds across the euro region, and the dollar weakened. Later reports that he’d opted to stay on board brought some market calm. Cohn has been leading the president’s efforts on tax reform.

  • US-North Korea tensions escalate

    Markets started to stabilize by Friday after US-North Korea tension rattled global assets, as investors were seen switching to risk-off mode, with gold, bonds and the yen all rising. President Trump stepped up his campaign of pressure on North Korea, promising a response to any strike against America or its allies. It has shaken global markets, a sell-off was seen in Asia. The CBOE Volatility Index climbed to the highest level since Trump’s election victory, while gold hit a two-month high. While Korea tensions still remain in focus, US stocks halted a three-day slide, volatility eased and Treasuries slipped.

  • BOE holds with a dovish tone

    While strong economic growth boosted optimism with positive jobs report and growing consumer confidence, markets continued to shrug at mounting signs that President Donald Trump’s policy agenda has run aground, with assets from stocks to the dollar largely looking past reports Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election has intensified. The likelihood of a grand jury being named could potentially indicate that there is enough evidence of a crime. The Dow Jones Industrial Average initially fell, but only by 0.2% and it promptly resumed a rally that this week saw it charge through 22,000 points.

  • Corporate earnings dominate markets

    The Nasdaq 100 endured an uncontrolled selloff, with Amazon leading the way lower. Broader equity gauges were spared major pain as a rally in energy helped pick up the slack; the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a fresh record. Economic data revealed the U.S. economy rebounded in the second quarter, however, results for the first three months of the year showed the economy had slightly more tepid growth than previously reported. Before Friday’s selloff, signs of economic recovery had boosted stocks in the U.S. and globally to records. Technology shares have led the charge, with companies in the sector soaring 22 percent this year for the best performance among 11 groups in the S&P 500.

  • Dovish tone from the BoJ and ECB

    Increased hawkishness from the ECB has helped the euro rally from lows last seen near the start of the millennium, with investors expecting tapering to start in the new year and pricing in a 10-basis point rate hike by September 2018. In the US, politics are again at the forefront, with reports that US special counsel Robert Mueller is expanding his investigation of Trump less than a day after the president told the New York Times that any digging into his finances would cross a red line.

  • Safety First Portfolio Update – Cash Reinvested

    Fedspeak took center stage this week as Fed Chair, Janet Yellen emphasised the Fed’s narrative that the economy is healthy enough to withstand further rate increases and the process of balance sheet reduction is expected to begin this year.

  • Geopolitics in focus as tensions with North Korea intensify

    The hawkish tone from developed-nation central banks continued to roil financial markets, with U.S. stocks falling the most in seven weeks, Treasury yields rising to levels last seen in May and crude settling below $46 a barrel.

  • Hawks Multiply at Major Central Banks

    Volatility is making a comeback, though still low by historical standards, as the debate on normalizing central bank policy intensifies after nine years of unprecedented stimulus. That suggests some investors are growing concerned about the economy’s ability to withstand a tightening cycle, even as data remains supportive.

  • Welfare Benefits Update

    Changes to the benefits system since 2010, has mainly meant cuts with more to come. Between 2010-2015 there was a large scale change meaning £23 billion in cuts.

    Frenkel Topping Welfare Benefits and Personal Injury Trusts Manager, Tracey Atkinson provides an invaluable update on Welfare Benefits and changes to entitlement and allowances.

  • Oil slides into bear territory

    Weakness in energy prices were the theme of the week, with oil in New York and London dropping into a bear market on concerns that expanding supply in the U.S. and Libya will counter output cuts from the OPEC. This led energy stocks and the main indices lower, which were just bolstered by a rebound in tech shares. With little in the way of economic data, Fed speeches took centre stage, as markets continue to expect a September pause and a December interest rate hike.

  • Global central banks signal on continuity of monetary stimulus efforts

    Soft economic data in the US and UK spurred concerns over economic fundamentals, however, this did not impact the central bank decisions. Fed raised interest rates for the second time in 2017, even after inflation pressures remain subdued. The BOJ kept rates unchanged amid worries of rising inflation and absence of a corresponding wage growth. The BOJ and the SNB also kept rates unchanged.

  • Lord Chancellor Replacement

    Following the 'shock' announcement about the discount rate, effective from 20th March 2017, when Liz Truss, the then Lord Chancellor reduced the rate from 2.5% to -0.75% there have been many developments, not least of which her replacement as LC by David Lidington. The attached article will tell you a little more about the man responsible for publishing the governments findings following the latest consultation.