Newell Palmer: Monthly Economic Notes-April 2017

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Economic Overview

Investors are focusing more on politics and have become more selective in what they buy, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said and this could be a latest signal that markets may be breaking free from a dependence on central bank support. The BIS said in its quarterly report that there had been increased discrimination across asset classes, regions and sectors, in contrast to the cross-asset “herd behaviour” that has characterised recent years. “Politics tightened its grip over financial markets in the past quarter, reasserting its supremacy over economics,” the BIS said.

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Newell Palmer: Monthly Economic Notes-March 2017

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Economic Overview – March 2017

The rise of populism in politics is not a new theme and has been gradually building in the years since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, but exploded in 2016 with the UK referendum on Brexit and the U.S. Presidential election. Financial markets withstood the shock from Brexit because the Bank of England moved quickly to ease monetary policy, while in the case of the U.S. election it was the prospect of fiscal policy easing and deregulation that spurred risk markets higher. In both cases, the rise of populism has increased uncertainty for financial markets. In 2017 the European political environment will be put to the test with elections to be held in the Netherlands, France and Germany while the situation in Italy is fluid and could result in an early election. For financial markets and investors each of these poses an event risk.

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“NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star”


This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1f, one of the newly discovered planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes have discovered that there are seven Earth-size planets in the system.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

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