David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    World-Beating Currency Has RenCap Double-Checking Its Math

    This article by Christine Jenkins for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Colombia’s currency is the world’s top performer in the early days of 2018, and Renaissance Capital is forecasting more gains ahead for what it sees as one of the best bets in emerging markets.

    The peso has rallied 3 percent this month following a lackluster 2017 that left it almost unchanged and toward the bottom of the pack for developing-nation currencies. It closed at 2,887 per dollar Thursday, its strongest level since May, amid gains in oil, the country’s biggest export. The peso slipped 0.4 percent Friday to 2,899 per dollar as of 9:28 a.m. in New York.

    Even so it’s almost 40 percent undervalued in a real effective exchange rate model, according to Charles Robertson, the global chief economist at RenCap in London, who said the dramatic difference had him double-checking his worksheets.

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    Email of the day on investing in a Japanese recovery

    Re Japan, you discussed previously how one might get exposure to the Japanese financial sector. One obvious candidate would be the NYSE quoted ADRs in Nomura. In the past the Topix Securities Index has moved in line with the Japanese Banks Index. My question is do you think that times have changed so much that a stock like Nomura is no longer a good geared play on the Nikkei?

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    Bracing Yourself for a Possible Near-Term Melt-Up

    Thanks to a subscriber for this report by Jeremy Grantham which may be of interest. Here is a section:
     

    Intel, Microsoft Deal With Widespread Computer-Chip Weakness

    This article by Ian King for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    News of the weakness, found last year and reported Tuesday by The Register technology blog, weighed on shares of Intel, the biggest semiconductor maker, while boosting rivals including Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Intel’s silence for most of Wednesday added to investors’ unease.

    Late in the day, Intel, Microsoft, Google and other tech bellwethers issued statements aimed at reassuring customers and shareholders. Intel said its chips weren’t the only ones affected and predicted no material effect on its business, while Microsoft, the largest software maker, said it released a security update to protect users of devices running Intel and other chips. Google, which said the issue affects Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings Plc chips, noted that it updated most of its systems and products with protections from attack. Amazon.com Inc., whose AWS is No. 1 in cloud computing, said most of its affected servers have already been secured.

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    Supersonic. Hypersonic Is the U.S. Military's New Speed

    This article by Justin Bachman for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:


     

    Boeing Co.’s XS-1 (Experimental Spaceplane), which the company dubs “Phantom Express,” got a green light this week by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa. The XS-1 is designed to quickly lift satellites as heavy as 3,000 pounds into orbit for $5 million or less, launching from the ground, deploying a small upper-stage module, and then landing like a traditional airplane—the key to reuse and lower operating expense. Darpa also has a separate program aimed at launching 100-pound satellites for less than $1 million per launch, using conventional aircraft.

    “The XS-1 would be neither a traditional airplane nor a conventional launch vehicle but rather a combination of the two, with the goal of lowering launch costs by a factor of ten and replacing today’s frustratingly long wait time with launch on demand,” Jess Spoonable, a Darpa program manager, said in a May 24 statement.

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    Trump Administration Taking Step That Could Threaten Marijuana Legalization Movement

    This article by Charlie Savage and Jack Healy for the New York Times may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    The Trump administration on Thursday will free federal prosecutors to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws, effectively threatening to undermine the legalization movement that has spread to six states, most recently California.

    The Justice Department is expected to rescind an Obama-era policy of discouraging federal prosecutors from bringing charges of marijuana-related crimes in states that had legalized sales of the drug.

    It was not immediately clear whether the administration intends to carry out a federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, or is merely rattling its saber.

    The Associated Press first reported the announcement, and a government official familiar with the matter confirmed that the change would be announced later on Thursday.

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    Email of the day on investing in emerging technology themes for a UK investor:

    New Year greetings to you and David and all FT members. About a year ago on the site there was a presentation on the new technological revolution, given by Mr. David Brown. It covered AI, robotics, cyber security, biotechnology, healthcare and the like. It was all wonderful stuff, but how do I deal in the shares and ETF's mentioned? I'm with Barclays - an ISA and spread betting account - and they have little coverage of these areas.

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