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Focus

Asia’s new era of sustainable growth

As the 2018 Chinese New Year celebrations begin on 16 February and the Winter Olympics are under way in South Korea, Soo Nam NG, Head of Asian equities at Columbia Threadneedle Investments analyses the outlook for Asian markets.

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Absence (of market volatility) made the heart grow fonder

Investors are fearful that inflation will rise faster than expected due to the impact of a weak dollar on import prices and rising wages, and that as a result interest rates may also rise faster than expected. But the reemergence of wage growth may be a positive for economic growth and corporate earnings.

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The flipside of the (crypto) coin

At the end of 2017, crypto currencies were on everyone lips and screens, with Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum boasting incredible performances of 1,400%, 36,000% and 9,100% respectively for the year.

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Back to normality

The strong start into the year left markets vulnerable. However, we remain constructive due to solid economic fundamentals.

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Q4 growth data reveal domestic demand remains robust

We are not disappointed by last quarter’s GDP growth number as it underlined solid domestic demand, accompanied by strong durable goods orders. In the details, the BEA report shows that GDP was supported by a 4.3% rise in real domestic final sales, one of the strongest quarter of the expansion to date.

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