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  • Our picks

    • Are we on the verge of a No-Deal Brexit? - EMEA Brief 21 Mar
      The EU has indicated that Theresa May needs to get backing from parliament on her Brexit deal before they agree to delay the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The Prime Minister is heading to Brussels today for the European Council meeting to try to force an extension in order to avoid a no-deal scenario.
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    • APAC brief - 21 Mar
      Market action proves it again: this market hinges on the Fed: The US Fed has proven itself as the most important game in town for traders. The FOMC met this morning, and lo-and-behold: the dovish Fed has proven more dovish than previously thought; the patient Fed has proven more patient that previously thought. Interest rates have remained on hold, but everyone knew that was to be the case today. It was about the dot-plots, the neutral-rate, the economic projections, and the balance sheet run-off. On all accounts, the Fed has downgraded their views on the outlook. And boy, have markets responded. The S&P500 has proven its major-sensitivity to FOMC policy and whipsawed alongside a fall in US Treasury yields, as traders price-in rate cuts from the Fed in the future.


      The US Dollar sends some asset classes into a tizz: The US Dollar has tumbled across the board consequently, pushing gold prices higher. The Australian Dollar, even for all its current unattractiveness, has burst higher, to be trading back toward the 0.7150 mark. Commodity prices, especially those of thriving industrial metals, have also rallied courtesy of the weaker greenback. Emerging market currencies are collectively stronger, too. This is all coming because traders are more-or-less betting that the Fed is at the end of its hiking cycle, and financial conditions will not be constricted by policy-maker intervention. Relatively cheap money will continue to flow, as yields remain depressed, and allow for the (sometimes wonton) risk-taking conditions that markets have grown used to in the past decade.
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    • APAC brief 20 Mar
      Another trade-war headline downs sentiment: There’s some news floating through the wires that sentiment has taken a hit overnight courtesy of some unfavourable trade-war headlines. It’s been reported that Chinese officials aren’t co-operating with their US counterparts, as it applies to certain sensitive elements of trade-negotiations. The S&P500, which had been developing some intraday momentum prior to the release, has retraced throughout trade, consequent to the news. It’s closed flat for the day, but despite this fall, moves in rates and bond markets suggest the fundamentals currently remain the same. The all-important balance between financial conditions and growth expectations is still there, ultimately supporting the bullishly inclined, as markets now prepare for tomorrow morning’s meeting of the US Federal Reserve.


      The unresolvable issues: It’s perhaps an assumption alone, but the (very vague) report leaked to the market about trade negotiations surely pertains to one of the well-understood, seemingly intractable issues embroiling the US and China. Those, at its core, unrelated to economics, but to strategic, and somewhat philosophical differences. These are intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and Chinese military posturing in the Asian region – especially the South China Sea. These differences are relevant because they boil down to brutal power-politics, and an essential clash of ideologies. This isn’t to suggest a trade-deal, and future bilateral cooperation can’t exist between both parties; but that whatever deal is struck, it’s unlikely to put an end to geopolitical tensions.
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