THE WisdomTree BLOG
The European political uncertainty and risks posed to financial markets are—for now—over. A Liberals-led mainstream coalition in The Netherlands firmly aligned with Germany’s EU agenda and a pro-European President of France upending fringe/extreme sentiment preserves the status quo. Also, Germany’s election in September was largely a non-event with Merkel this year leading early on in the polls and the Social Democrats headed by Martin Schulz as runner up. The far right AFD coming as third largest was the main surprise and will complicate Merkel’s efforts to create and run a coalition government. Italy is unlikely to have its election until 2018.
Fixed income has been at the heart of European investor portfolios for many years with average allocations in 2016 standing at 51%. Even in an environment of low or negative yielding domestic government bonds, overall allocations have remained high. Now Eurozone government bond investors are overwhelmingly focused on the risks relating to the end of quantitative easing and the potential for a rise in interest rates at some point in 2018.
The recent OPEC meeting revealed no new news with respect to production cuts or the ability of OPEC to stabilise the oil price. Whilst there was a commitment for a longer period of production adjustments for a further nine months with effect from 1 July 2017 the meeting concluded with a lack of discussion of deeper cuts. What was revealed was just how dependent the oil price is on other factors and data points, something that we previously highlighted in our blog Five things you need to know about trading oil.
As we approach the next OPEC meeting on 25 May, the oil price is getting closer to a critical juncture with pressure on OPEC producers to restrain supply, rises in oil stock levels and the rebound in shale oil. Volatility remains the one overriding feature of the oil price and even if OPEC comes to an agreement on further production cuts this may not be enough to create a more stable oil price environment.
first round of the French elections
Associate Director of Research
Director of Research
Viktor, who has over 14 years’ experience in research, joined the firm from Renaissance Asset Managers where he was Head of Research. Viktor provides macro research on various themes covering equities, commodities and fixed income. His research for WisdomTree in Europe offers investment strategies for the current range of Smart Beta UCITS ETFs as well as the Boost range of short and leveraged Exchange Traded Notes. Viktor has previously worked as a Research Analyst at BlackRock and Thomson Financial. He started his career as an Equity Strategist at Commerzbank, after he completed a Masters in Economics from Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.
Nizam Hamid is an ETF Strategist for WisdomTree in Europe and has extensive experience in the European ETF market. Prior to this he was at C8 Investments, a systematic hedge fund, focusing on business development and quantitative strategies, before that he was a consultant at FTSE. From 2010 to 2012, he was Head of ETF Strategy and Deputy Head of Lyxor ETFs, at the time Europe’s second largest ETF issuer. Before joining Lyxor he was Head of Sales Strategy for the Europe and the Middle East at iShares in London. Prior to that, he was Global Head of ETFs, Portfolio and Index Strategy at Deutsche Bank from 1998 to 2008. He has also worked as a quantitative analyst in London and Tokyo for UBS, BZW and Bankers Trust / NatWest Markets. He holds a Degree in Economics from the University of Liverpool.
Nick Leung is a Research Analyst for WisdomTree in Europe. He is responsible for macroeconomic commentary and analysis, formulating investment strategies and trade ideas, as well as the maintenance of research collateral. Prior to joining in 2015, Nick was at Source, having completed his Master’s Degree at Imperial College London. During this time he was also involved in an ice-cream entrepreneurship project with Unilever. Nick holds a BA in Economics from the University of Nottingham.
Head of ETNs
Director of Capital Markets
WisdomTree's Head of Japan
Capital Markets and Investment Solutions, Index and Quantitative Investment, ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) Company Limited
Ms. Pang holds a M.Sc. in Development Finance from The University of Manchester, a M.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Business Administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.