The bull run on stock markets has not run out of road yet, according to Bank of Ireland Investment Markets.

Commenting on the latest Savings and Investment Index, Tom McCabe of Bank of Ireland said that, despite a few bouts of volatility this year, the markets are reflecting the fact that it is later in the cycle of growth.

"What's crucial for investors now is the growth picture. Growth was very synchronised and very strong in 2017. We've had a bit of a pull back this year, more to long term trend levels. What will drive markets is whether than can continue.

"There are some concerns about the impact of the trade spat between China and the US and how that could soften the Chinese economy. That looks quite manageable and, looking ahead, we still think we can get decent enough growth out of the world economy. That could the raw material that drives markets to further gradual gains," Mr McCabe said.


The latest Savings and Investment Index recorded a softening in sentiment towards savings and investment in October.

This was probably not a big surprise given the "Red October" moniker that has been attached to last month's performance on stock markets. 

Tom McCabe pointed out that such market moves should cause anyone with a pension to sit up and take note.

"Generally, pension fund investors have time. If you are 10, 20 or 30 years out from retirement, you have a long term investment horizon. You can afford to be less concerned about political events or market turbulence.

"Most investors have an automatic function whereby you can de-risk out of shares into less volatile asset classes like bonds or cash when they come closer to retirement," he said

While there was a softening in sentiment towards saving in October, the Irish love affair with saving continues.

According to Central Bank figures, we have a collective €103 billion on deposit here.

"The data bears out the fact that we're a nation of savers. That's down to strong growth, strong wage growth and that's creating more affordability for saving," Tom McCabe stated.

MORNING BRIEFS - Household net worth here increased by 3% in the second quarter to reach a new high of €757 billion. That Is about 75% above the low point of the recession but much of it is tied up in property and reflects rising house prices. We are also paying down debts and household debt stood at €138 billion by the end of June. While this was the lowest point in 13 years, Irish households are still the fourth most indebted in the European Union.

*** The Minister for Finance has signalled changes to the Special Assignee Relief Programme. This is aimed at reducing the cost to employers of moving skilled individuals from their oversees operations to positions in Ireland. The cost of the scheme doubled to €18m in 2016 after the cap of €500,000 in eligible income was removed. The Minister is imposing an income cap of €1m as Finance Bill goes through the legislative process.

*** US oil prices have entered a bear market - which is defined as a drop of more than 20% from their peak. Oil prices have fallen by more than a fifth since their high in October. Brent crude - the international benchmark - looks to be heading in the same direction. It's at just above $70 a barrel and  if it falls below that level it would be the first time it has done so since April.

***Asian markets were mostly lower after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. The Fed is expected to introduce another rate hike next month.