Index provider MSCI’s decision to include Saudi Arabia in its emerging-markets index will likely transform the Kingdom’s equity market, and potentially those across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to Bassel Khatoun and Salah Shamma, Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity.
Each year, Social Security’s Trustees report to Congress on the financial status of the program. This typically generates a number of anxiety-provoking media headlines about if/when it will run out of money. Gail Buckner, CFP, our personal retirement and financial planning strategist, takes a look at the facts. She says Social Security is actually in pretty good shape overall.
The European Central Bank’s June meeting has offered some long-hoped-for clarity on the future direction of monetary policy in the eurozone. However, it hasn’t provided all the answers, and much remains open to interpretation. David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, considers what might happen next and explains why he’s still not expecting a eurozone interest-rate hike before 2020.
The US Federal Reserve continued its tightening path at its June policy meeting, raising its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and seventh time since December 2015. Chris Molumphy, chief investment officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, offers us a snapshot of the US monetary policy landscape in the wake of the meeting.
As the Trump administration continues to threaten tariffs targeting a variety of imported goods, from electronics to washing machines to automobiles, many market commentators have suggested the US-led trade skirmishes could turn into a trade war.
At Franklin Templeton’s recent Global Investor Forum in New York, our CEO Greg Johnson participated in a panel discussion with three other CEOs in the financial services industry: James Gorman of Morgan Stanley; Jay Hooley of State Street and Barry Stowe of Jackson National Life.
To say activity in Washington is being closely followed would be an understatement, with the consensus view that the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule is all but officially vacated, and a recent proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the middle of a 90-day comment period.
The future of the European Central Bank’s three-year-old quantitative easing program lies in the balance. Will the bank’s governing council use its scheduled June meeting to extend the program or confirm that asset purchases will end in September? David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, believes recent European economic data and political developments in Italy point towards an extension. And he argues that means eurozone interest-rate hikes are unlikely before 2020.
There has been heightened discussion recently about women’s inequality in many areas of society—including financial security. Gail Buckner, CFP, our personal retirement and financial planning strategist, explores the gender pay gap and how it has contributed to a poorer post-working life for many older women.
For the first time in a long while, geopolitics has been driving oil prices higher in an already tight market. With oil prices recently hitting a four-year high, gasoline prices have been climbing too, and analysts are carefully watching developments including the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and re-imposition of economic sanctions on the country.