China GDP Refocuses Speculative Attention from Monetary Policy to Growth
Last week, it was fairly clear that a particular fundamental theme had stepped up to take command of our attention. Monetary policy has garnered greater traction recently owing largely to speculation that the Federal Reserve will have to reverse its course of normalizing extreme accommodation and subsequently cap the responsibility for global investors to bear the exceptional risks in our financial markets on their own
Trump-Tweet #1: US President Trump announced yesterday what had long been assumed: the trade-truce will be delayed, because of the “very productive talks” going on between his administration and Chinese policymakers. Understandably, the formal recognition that tariffs won’t be hiked to 25 per cent (from their current rate of 10 per cent) on $US200bn of Chinese goods stoked risk sentiment. The overall impact wasn’t quite as deep and broad on one might have hoped, however. The reasoning is logical
Don’t Forget Trade Wars Aren’t Isolated to US-China
Trade wars remain my greatest concern for the health of the global markets and economy. There have been threats in the past where a localized fundamental virus has turned contagious to the rest of the world by unforeseen circumstances – such as the Great Financial Crisis whereby a US subprime housing derivative implosion infected the wider financial markets by destabilized a foundation built on excess leverage throughout the system. When i
Broad-based based bounce in stocks: It was a buy the dip day yesterday, judging by price action in global risk-assets. As has been the theme this week, there wasn’t any meaningful macro-news to change market participants behavior. So: an explanation for the (almost) universally solid day for global equities ought to be chalked-up to internal market mechanics. What this may imply for the longer run is a touch obscure. This market is trading much in the way a plane rights-itself after some brief,
Market Conditions in Data Overload
Markets often struggle for traction when there is a lack of a clear motivator such as meaningful event risk or an evolving systemically important theme. On the other hand, there are times when a surfeit of important events, indicators and headlines overwhelm the clear speculative picture, leaving us with an abundance of volatility without the benefit of a reliable course. We have dallied with this latter scenario these past weeks, but the constant redirec
Fed Sets the Tone for Global Monetary Policy Expectations
Global monetary policy trends have shifted towards a more accommodative stance as forecasts for economic activity have stuttered and worries of ‘external risks’ have gained traction. This has sharpened the relative value of currencies as market dig into the grey areas trying to determine which groups are taking greater strides to loosen than their peers. However, it is crucial that all investors – no matter your preferred market nor
Critical Fundamental Themes to Keep Watch For Next Week:
Volatility Slipping Back into Habit of Complacency as Liquidity Fills [Indices, VIX]
US-China Trade War – Beyond the Point of De-Escalation? [AUDUSD, USDCNH, Indices]
A Climb in Risk Appetite as More Fundamentals Fall Away [S&P 500, Dow]
Recession Warnings In the Market Converging with Those in Data [Indices, Yields, Gold]
Monetary Policy Ability to Stabilize Growth, Markets [EURUS, ECB, Fed, BOJ, Go
Markets trade-off Friday overhang: Markets traded in something of a vacuum Monday. The themes driving price action were more-or-less those that had determined activity to end last week. The effects of this were pronounced in the Asian session, but much less so in Europe and North America. It stands to reason: Asian markets were still to digest Friday night’s abysmal European PMI figures. That data’s impact is still rippling through the market. Anxieties about global growth and the likelihood for
The Cost of Drawing Out Trade Wars, Even If They Lift
As with most global military wars of the past, economic engagements exact a toll on the participating countries – and their peers – long after the ceasefire is struck. That is what we need to remember as officials on both sides of the table in the US-China negotiations offer rhetoric that attempts to keep local confidence buoyant. In reality, both governments are trying to walk the fine line whereby local consumers, businesses and inves
Will the White House Pick a Fight with Europe?
The long-awaited first step towards de-escalating the most taxing trade war in modern financial history – between the US and China – took place this past week. Representatives for both countries, US President Trump and Chinese Premier Liu He (notably not President Xi) participated in a very long signing ceremony. The contents of this first stage for finding a long-term and full compromise is important as is stands as the symbolic doorway with
News flow light thanks to US holiday: SPI Futures are indicating a flat start for the ASX200 this morning, in a 24-hours starved of meaningful news and data. US markets were closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday, meaning a crucial source of information was absent from the news flow. It was perhaps a positive thing for market-bulls: the vacuum left by US markets allowed for Asian and Europe equity indices to seize the improved sentiment flowing from Wall Street on Friday, following further progr
Flow exits equities: Global stocks fell on Monday. The losses were very broad based, as equity traders caught up on the information that had already, effectively, been baked into rates markets. The ASX200 was one of the worst performing major share indices: it shed 1.17 per cent, with market breadth a lowly 17.5 per cent. Wall Street has performed stronger overnight, with the S&P500 giving up half-a-per cent. That’s lead SPI Futures to climb roughly 10 points, suggesting a bounce for the ASX
Traders have plenty to catch up on: As one might expect after (effectively) four days-off, there’s plenty of macro-economic news for Australian market participants to catch-up on following the Easter-holiday break. Chinese and Japanese markets have traded without interruption; while the US jumped back in to action overnight. And although price action won’t be the cause of any conniptions across trading floors this morning, there’s still enough information there to inspire a few novel ideas in th
The Euro was nearing a 21-month low yesterday as the ECB was perceived to be dovish after its speech, ahead of US jobs data to be released today. During Thursday's session the EURUSD hit $1.1176, its lowest since June 2017, as the ECB announced it had pushed back the first rate increase to at least 2020 and announced a new round of TLTRO funding for European Banks.
China has reported worse than expected trade data for the month of February. Its dollar-denominated exports fell by 20.7 per
ASX to keep trading on its own themes: SPI Futures are presently indicating an 18-point jump at the open for the ASX200. Once again, Australian equities look as though they’ll march to the beat of their own drum today. It comes on the back of a reasonably solid day for the ASX yesterday – though admittedly it was another day of relatively low activity. A general driver for the session’s activity was hard to pinpoint, perhaps fortunately, with the market trading much more on the basis of the myri
Financials drag on the ASX: The ASX200 was legged in the final stages of trade yesterday. It was led by a sell-off in major financial stocks, after a media address made by Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, during which he announced the Liberal government would not pursue the eradication of trailing commissions for financial advisors and mortgage brokers, as prescribed by Kenneth Hayne QC in the final Banking Royal Commission report. It turned what was an otherwise solid day for the ASX200 o
Amid Extreme (Low) Volatility, Determine Your Approach and the Eventual Change
Volatility continues to sink into extreme levels of doldrums – and this is a theme that all traders should take time to appreciate at regular intervals. Low volatility is a defining feature of a financial landscape. Whether fundamentals catalyze a cascade of value repricing or a technical cue is capable of triggering an avalanche of entry/stop orders is predicated on the conditions first laid out by the depth an
The see-sawing market: The one-day-up, one-day-down pattern of trade on Wall Street continues. It’s playing-out so elegantly, it’s almost absurd. Yesterday was a “down” day, as market participants evacuated equity markets to seek shelter in safe-haven government bonds. In contrast to the day prior, breadth has been universally low, with practically every sector in the S&P500 trading lower. The same simple binary that’s driven market activity for weeks is behind this dynamic: a competition be
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