Market Intelligence

2019 June A Fed July interest-rate cut isn’t a done deal

On 19 June, The US Federal Reserve (Fed) kept interest rates unchanged, as expected, but held the door open for a rate cut in the coming months if the economic outlook for the US deteriorates.

2019 May Why China's rising tide may not lift EM boats

Increased trade tensions at the beginning of May have frayed nerves and, by extension, market returns. It's unsurprising, therefore, that equity markets didn't respond well to being reacquainted with trade-policy uncertainty

2019 May Sino-US trade tensions enter a new phase

After 11 rounds of bilateral trade talks, the US and China have (re)entered a phase of increasing tensions. Ronald Chan, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Asian Equities (ex-Japan), lays out a basic roadmap to help investors understand the possible scenarios that could lead to a resolution of the current dispute.

2019 May Latest tariff threat could derail a Sino-US trade deal

US President Donald Trump signalled his intention to increase tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% starting Friday 10 May 2019, while another US$325 billion of untaxed goods could face 25% duties "shortly". The investment teams from Manulife Asset Management share their views on this latest development.

2019 April Goldilocks escapes the bears—for now

As markets enter the second quarter of 2019, the reemergence of the Goldilocks economy—moderate economic growth, low inflation, dampened market volatility—should underpin asset classes globally.

2019 March Flight of the Doves

Following pronounced market volatility and the US Federal Reserve's tilt toward dovishness in January, the markets have been broadly characterised by stronger equity prices and lower bond yields.

2019 March China A-shares move to centre stage

Manulife Asset Management’s investment team explains how they are positioned to take advantage of the greater access to the China A-shares market and look at the opportunities it presents for global investors.

2019 February Making Sense of the Market Rebound

The start of this year saw the return of risk-on sentiment as investors welcomed a newly dovish Fed and signs the Chinese economy is over the worst – but geopolitical tensions and the growth outlook are lingering concerns.

2019 January The Fed strikes a dovish tone

Megan E. Greene, our global chief economist at Manulife Asset Management, believes that the Fed has turned overwhelmingly dovish, and outlines what she thinks could happen next.

2018 December Special edition: 2019 outlook The Year of the Pig - Will it Fly?

2018 began with a wave of optimism over synchronised global growth. As the year progressed, however, divergent trends came to the fore, and increased geopolitical and economic uncertainties weighed ever more heavily on financial markets.

2018 December An oh-so subtle change in tone leaves markets wanting more

The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to raise the Fed Funds Rate target to a range of 2.25% to 2.5%.

2018 December Uncertainty and flattening yield curve spark US market correction

In this market note, our investment teams in the US share their views about domestic equity markets and the possibility of an inverted yield curve.

2018 December China and the US agree to halt new tariffs for 90 days

On 1 December (Argentina Time), China and the US agreed to a ceasefire to keep their trade war from escalating with a promise to halt the imposition of new tariffs for 90 days after high-stakes talks in Argentina between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on 1 January 2019.

2018 November A moderation in Sino-US trade relations expected after US mid-term election results

In this market note, Ronald Chan, Chief Investment Officer, Equities, Asia (Ex-Japan), gives his views on how the results of the US mid-term elections will affect the trajectory of US-China trade relations and Asian markets moving forward.

2018 October Further thoughts on the sell-off in US equity markets

Market volatility continues in October. A sell-off that started in early October deepened on 24 October. In this market note, our global investment teams offer their views on this round of sell-off and the future market outlook.

2018 October Markets in the Fall

Global equity markets tumbled in early October on the back of concerns over higher interest rates and continued macroeconomic headwinds (e.g., tariffs). As the year comes to an end, we believe that markets will focus on three issues going into 2019: the implementation of US trade policy, the price of oil, and the trajectory of interest rates.

2018 October Our thoughts on the latest global market sell-off

On 10 October 2018, US stocks suffered their worst fall since early February. The sell-off hit broader equity markets in Asia – bourses in Taiwan, South Korea and China registered deep losses on the following day. In this market note, our investment teams share their thoughts on the recent sell-off and the implications for Asian investors.

2018 September Fed stays on target

On 26 September 2018 (US Time), the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) to a range of 2.00%-2.25%1. Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, Manulife Investments – Canada, believes that although the Fed will continue to raise rates into 2019, bonds may have reached an inflection point.

2018 September Can wilting Emerging Markets recover after August?

Markets continued their volatile ride in August as global stock markets moved lower due to concerns over an escalation in trade tensions and country-specific crises. Markets so far in September are putting on a braver face, despite the looming trade war. The US, Japan, Europe and Latin America are all up by 1% to 2%, with only Asian and Chinese equities posting losses month-to-date.

2018 September Further US tariffs catalyse China’s economic upgrade

On 17 September 2018 (US time), the US President announced additional tariffs of 10% on roughly $200 billion of imports from China, starting 24 September 2018. On 1 January 2019, the tariffs will rise to 25%. In this market note, the investment team from Manulife Asset Management examines the long-term economic impact on China and its implications for Asian investors.

2018 July Manulife Global Healthcare Strategy: New Lead Portfolio Manager stresses importance of industry knowledge

On 4 May 2018, Steven Slaughter took over as the new lead Portfolio Manager of the Manulife Global Healthcare Strategy (“the Strategy”). This investment note will summarise his professional background, as well as introduce the new guiding principles that he and his investment team will apply to potential investments of the Strategy to reach the end goal of a "high conviction" portfolio.

2018 July After the July tariffs, what next?

Geoff Lewis, Senior Asia Strategist of Manulife Asset Management believes that although the first round of tariffs is likely to have a minimal economic impact, bilateral trade friction may well continue until the US midterm elections in November or beyond. He also notes that in mid-term election years the S&P500 index typically performs poorly in the summer months ahead of the vote but later stages a strong rally into year end.

2018 June Robust US economy points to higher rate trajectory

Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, Manulife Investments, believes that robust US growth, coupled with accelerating inflation and low unemployment, will push interest rates higher over the next two years.

2018 June Higher interest rates positive for US bank equities

In this investment note, the Portfolio Managers of Bank Opportunities and Financial Industries Strategies view higher interest rates in the US as positive for US bank equities, particularly small and mid-cap banks.

2018 May Bilateral negotiations soothe escalating trade tensions

The recently concluded second-round of trade negotiations between the US and China point to progress. In this note, Geoff Lewis, Senior Asia Strategist, believes the Chinese market’s robust fundamentals and positive catalysts suggest that any further friction in the bilateral relationship should be viewed as a potential buying opportunity for investors.

2018 March Global trade war? Not our base case – Domestic factors are more important for China and Hong Kong equities

On 23 March, US President Donald Trump announced up to $60 billion in tariffs against Chinese imports. Kai Kong Chay, Senior Portfolio Manager, Greater China Equities, believes that a global trade war is not the base case scenario, while the fundamentals underpinning China and Hong Kong equities are still in place.

2018 March Overall impact on China bonds from US trade tariff is manageable

US-China trade tensions have intensified triggered by US President Donald Trump’s plan to impose a 25% tariff on up to US$60 billion of Chinese imported goods. In this investment note, Paula Chan, Senior Portfolio Manager (Fixed Income), assesses the potential economic impact of tariffs on China and the Chinese bond market. On a Pan-Asian bond level, Endre Pedersen, Chief Investment Officer (Fixed Income, Asia ex-Japan), cautions investors that the market cannot fully price in events such as escalating trade friction – being nimble in volatile markets is the key.

2018 March New US-China tariff point to need for bilateral negotiations

On 22 March, US President Donald Trump announced tariffs on up to US$60 billion of Chinese imports. He also announced tighter restrictions on acquisitions and technology transfers between the two countries. Geoff Lewis, Senior Asia Strategist, believes this round of proposed tariffs is a diplomatic invitation to enter serious bilateral negotiations to resolve structural economic imbalances in the US-China trade relationship.

2018 March Implications of US rate hike on Asian fixed income and Asian equities

On 21 March 2018, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continued its monetary policy normalisation process, by announcing its sixth 25 basis points rate hike since December 2015, with a target range of 1.5% to 1.75%. In this investment note, Endre Pedersen, Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income Asia (ex-Japan), and Ronald CC Chan, Chief Investment Officer, Equities, Asia (ex-Japan) discuss the implications of interest rate hike on Asian fixed income and Asian equities

2018 March The Fed strikes a hawkish tone

The US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) on Wednesday, with Jerome Powell giving his first press conference as Chairman. Generally there was no sea change in the Fed’s overall message but there was a distinctive hawkish bent. In this note, Chief Economist Megan Greene examines why she has left our forecast unchanged for three rate hikes in 2018 and two rate hikes in 2019.

2018 March Twin catalysts for US bank equities: Rising interest rates and reforms

The Federal Reserve’s pace of interest rate hikes has raised questions of its impact on the banking sector. At the same time, numerous financial sector deregulation initiatives have been introduced and passed. The Portfolio Managers of Bank Opportunities and Financial Industries Strategies view these developments as twin catalysts for US bank equities in 2018, particularly small and mid-cap banks.

2018 March Investment Note: Latest US tariffs do not augur a trade war

On 1 March 2018, President Trump announced that his administration will impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum imports. The decision is expected to inflame relations with key trade partners, as the European Union and Canada have already raised objections to the proposed action.

2018 February China and HK equities: Solid fundamentals remain intact

Kai Kong Chay, Senior Portfolio Manager, Greater China Equities, believes that despite the market movements, the fundamentals underpinning China and Hong Kong equity markets are sound. From a market perspective, earnings continue to enjoy upward revisions, while valuations remain comparatively attractive compared to developed equity markets.

2018 February Perspectives on the equity correction

The fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average from its January 2018 high has reached 10%, meeting the conventional definition for a market correction. Our experts believe that the price adjustment is being mainly driven by a technical correction, and not by deterioration in the economic fundamentals.

2018 February Implications of recent market volatility

After an extended period of low volatility, markets corrected from their highs in early February. In this Investment Note, Geoff Lewis, Senior Asia Strategist, Endre Pedersen, Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, Asia (ex-Japan), and Ronald CC Chan, Chief Investment Officer, Equities, Asia (ex-Japan) offer our views regarding the implications for investors from recent market movements.

2017 November China's 19th Communist Party Congress – Onward and upward!

The stage is set for a strong, united and determined government in China for the next five years. Manulife Asset Management Senior Asia Strategist Geoff Lewis explains what all this could mean for investors going forward.

2017 October Conviction in the US Banking Sector Remains High

Despite high hopes entering the year, banking stocks, particularly regional banks, have underwhelmed. The portfolio management team responsible for our Bank Opportunities and Financial Industries strategies believes that investors should stay focused on long-term supportive factors in the sector.

2017 September Fed announces exit from QE: Implications for EM and Asia

Geoff Lewis, Senior Asia Strategist, Manulife Asset Management believes that the Fed’s exit is a watershed moment, and one that will likely be successfully navigated. For Emerging Markets (EM) and Asia, the decision’s long-term impact should be muted, although there may be short-term hiccups.


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Manulife™ Investor Sentiment Index

Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI) in Asia is a quarterly, proprietary survey measuring and tracking investor's€™ views across eight markets on their attitudes towards key asset classes and investment vehicles.


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