2017 has been an interesting year to date.
Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency certainly has a lot of investors scratching their heads when it comes to new share acquisitions.
But, look closer and, you might discover that unprecedented events at home and abroad can reveal new opportunities – as long, of course, as you keep an eye on the fundamentals.
Here are a few share picks that could you an extra reason to celebrate come the festive season at year’s close.
Find some shares that won’t bomb
Unfortunately, war is big business right now and recent geo-political events mean that many countries are stocking up on the latest defence technology.
Shares such as BAE Systems (LSE:BA) are looking like good bang (excuse the pun) for your buck.
Regardless of the political climate, a sizeable earnings rise has delivered a P/E ratio of 15.3 putting the stock above the FTSE 100 average.
With sales and profits ahead of expectations, the recent reverse in price looks distinctly like a short term blip.
A weak pound equals strong exports
While the falling strength of sterling might be bad news for holidaymakers, it’s great for British exporters, who are becoming increasingly competitive in the global markets.
How long this is set to last with Brexit looming is anyone’s guess, but in the short term, there are profits to be made by investing in the big exporters.
With IT and telecoms being some of our biggest exports to the EU, Vodafone (LON:VOD) is one that looks well placed to benefit.
The share price has already risen by 10% this year and could have more upside.
Rising son at Standard Chartered looks east
At the same time, some companies find themselves far less exposed to the fallout resulting from a nasty Brexit for other reasons.
One of these is Standard Chartered (LON:STAN).
While headquartered in the UK, the firm does most of its business in Asian market, so any damage from Brexit should, theoretically, be limited.
Furthermore, newish CBE, Bill Winters is having an impact too. Since joining in 2015, he’s brought in £4.1 billion from a rights issue, trimmed the wages bill through job cuts and scrapped the dividend.
It’s only a matter of time until we see these changes reflected in the share price.
The foundations of success
Builders are going back to work as demand for new homes rises and that’s good news for construction firms.
Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) is the big player here with a diversified portfolio, covering most of the UK, and a low cost base, so looks to be a safe bet for the long run.
While the share price recently tumbled as rumours emerged that the government might wind down the Help to Buy scheme earlier than expected, the firm is still looking to increase output by 3% annually, so this might be a good buying opportunity.
Finally, here’s some value to be had on the High Street.
Fashion retailer, Next (LON:NXT), has seen their second quarter figures beat analysts’ estimates.
The shares certainly look attractive given they’re at half the price of their 2015 peak, with revenues continuing to creep upwards, tripling in value since 2002.