Geoff Cutmore - Morning Thoughts

What do hot markets and Paris Hilton have in common?

Paris Hilton is set free

Apparently quite a lot according to U.S. based investment manager Ken Fisher. Fisher says the fact that the most newsworthy story for most newspapers and news TV stations is Paris Hilton's arrest should be reassuring to equity investors. If the media don't have any more pressing bad news stories then investors should take comfort.

Fisher is sticking to his long-held view that equity markets will continue to rise strongly so long as the long end of the global yield curve is lower than the equity yield. Fisher says there is at least a 2.5 point advantage in favour of equity. Everything else being equal that will sustain the bull until that gap closes. Strong earnings will support the earnings yield - the long end of the yield curve will eventually begin to move as global interest rate rises lift the cost of borrowing - but says Fisher, that time is not yet.

However, Fisher believes the U.K. and U.S. markets offer the least attractive opportunities because they are so much further along the rate hiking cycle. His advice is to place money to work in continental Europe and Asia.

Do you like the biofuels story? It is clear the market has embraced the renewable/alternative energy story - Bush's energy security goals have ignited further interest. All this week we are covering different aspects of the biofuel story with a special focus on the market in Brazil. Over the next few days President Lula will be in Brussels extolling the virtues of ethanol.

There is money to be made here, but prudence would suggest caution. This is a government made market, that due to the current cost of production is still uncompetitive with carbon based equivalents. Government's change policies with a pen-stroke - while this desire to raise the contribution of biofuels does appear to have legs - who is to say a breakthrough in hydrogen science or a change of sentiment over the ethics of using foodstuff's won't result in a slower pace of growth in this segment.

Feedback welcome - here.