No US rate rise in 2015, argues Newton’s Pidcock
The manager (pictured), who runs around £5bn in the Asian Income fund alone, says that he believes the Federal Reserve are looking for reasons not to raise rates and lower inflation, weaker oil prices and geopolitical tension may provide the excuse they need.
He says: “Although unemployment is falling, the Federal Reserve will be reluctant to raise rates if inflation falls below 1 per cent. There has been a dramatic fall in energy prices and generally a rise in the dollar keeps the oil price low. Unemployment is not falling as fast as expected and the US economy has seen its best period.”
Interest rates are therefore likely to remain at their current low level, argues Pidcock, and further quantitative easing may be a possibility.
Pidcock says that global political events are also likely to keep the Federal Reserve cautious. He adds: “Russia is on the brink of an economic, political and territorial collapse. It has already burnt through around $100bn in reserves this year. It is experiencing a significant brain drain. It doesn’t have the economic size or population to maintain its borders.” He believes that ultimately Russia may be forced to sell land to the Chinese to shore up its finances, though this is unlikely to be during Putin’s tenure.
He believes a major risk for 2015 is that Russian policymakers take drastic measures out of desperation. This also makes a US rate rise unlikely.