Beyond Bulls & Bears

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Fixed Income

The Fed’s Balancing (Sheet) Act

The Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting played out largely as expected, as US monetary policymakers left the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged. The Fed did clarify when it would begin to unwind its hefty balance sheet, and updated its economic forecasts and interest-rate projections. Chris Molumphy, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group CIO, says the communication from the latest Fed meeting should not rattle the markets much, and that the next interest-rate hike now seems most likely to come in December.

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Fixed Income

How the German Election Could Dictate Europe’s Future Direction

“These are optimistic times in Europe, in general. In contrast to what many observers might have expected nine months ago, the political structure in Europe is probably the most stable it’s been in 10 years.” - David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Perspectives

Time to Reset Expectations?

Global markets have been relatively calm this summer despite many uncertainties. Geopolitical risks have continued across the globe, and in some areas, looming monetary policy changes also appear likely. A key question for many investors is whether the sleepy summer period of low volatility will give way to a more turbulent autumn. Franklin Templeton’s senior investment leaders offer their perspective on the markets and discuss where they see opportunities and risks ahead.

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Equity

Is France on the Cusp of a Thatcher Moment?

French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to take on France’s powerful unions as he attempts to overhaul the country’s labour code. Here, Philippe Brugere-Trelat, Franklin Mutual Series executive vice president, explains why a Macron victory on this front could open up opportunities for investing in French equities.

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Equity

UK Equity: What Dividends Can Tell Us About UK Economic Sentiment

“Special dividends may indicate that companies would rather return money to shareholders than expand. There could be a lack of investment opportunities and potential concerns around Brexit and future UK economic growth.” - Colin Morton, portfolio manager, UK Equity team

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Perspectives

Bringing the Human Factor to Index Investing

The emergence of risk-factor investing and the evolution of traditional indexes have opened up fresh opportunities to bring a human touch to what has traditionally been considered the passive exchange-traded fund space. Dr. Chandra Seethamraju, director of systematic modeling, Franklin Templeton Solutions, details what he sees as a “smart” approach to investing in these vehicles.

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Fixed Income

Why ECB Tapering Could Prompt a Change in Bond-Market Philosophy

“While some commentators may question whether the ECB should embark on tapering when it still doesn’t see itself hitting its inflation target within its time horizon, I would say that’s exactly what the central bank should do.” David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Multi-Asset

What Can Mario Draghi Say to Avoid Upsetting Markets?

“We may already have reached the point where euro strength has tightened monetary conditions sufficiently to change the outlook for growth in corporate earnings and the appropriate path of monetary policy.” Matthias Hoppe, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions

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Equity

An Opportune Time to Change Investors’ Perception of Investing in Europe

“Gross domestic product growth in the euro area has quietly overtaken that of the United States so far this year. But the risks once associated with political uncertainty, populism and fears over the possible break-up of the European Union (EU) have not proven as potent as they initially appeared.” Robert Mazzuoli, portfolio manager, Franklin Local Asset Management

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Fixed Income

The End of the Eurozone’s QE Era?

”We know the European Central Bank (ECB) likes to flag changes to its monetary policy approach well before they’re implemented. That’s why we expect an imminent announcement from ECB President Mario Draghi that the bank will start winding down its quantitative easing (QE) programme next year.” - David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Equity

Macron at 100 Days: New French President Faces Busy Autumn

“Although polls have shown that Macron’s approval ratings have fallen since the election, I don’t see this drop as cause for concern. The ebbs and flows of popular polls are natural, in my opinion, following the giant wave of hope that swept Macron into office. That hope is now meeting the cold light of reality.”– Philippe Brugere-Trelat, Executive Vice President, Franklin Mutual Series

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Equity

US Tech Sector: Continued Run-Up or Correction Coming?

Since the infamous “dot com” meltdown nearly two decades ago, people have tended to question any sort of extended run-up in technology-sector stocks. Stephen Dover, executive vice president and head of equities at Franklin Templeton Investments and chief investment officer, Templeton Emerging Markets, recently recorded a podcast centered on the theme of technology and how investors might view the sector. In this new podcast, he explains why he thinks the situation today is very different from the dot com meltdown.