As if I was never away

It’s been a while since I had a look at financial markets. But I am happy to report that the laws of the natural world, inhabited by investors, are undisturbed. Volatility across most asset classes remains pinned to the floor, equities have pushed on—with the annoying exception of the majority of the portfolio’s holdings—and short-term rates in the U.S. also have crept higher. In this environment, the DXY has regained its footing, although it still looks vulnerable relative to many of its G7 sisters, and the yield curve in the U.S. is still not sure whether to steepen or flatten. It seems to have settled in the middle; a small rise across the curve. Political risks have returned to Europe—did it ever go away?—but I am unimpressed with the bears’ attempt to kick up a fuss. In Germany, I am reasonably certain that a government is formed, eventually. In Spain, I think the Catalan separatists are on the road to nowhere. Their leader Carlos Puidgemont is caught between a rock and a hard place, and I think they will need to have regional elections to settle what precisely the mandate is. Finally, we are supposed to worry about Italy leaving the Eurozone. Break-up risks in the euro area, however, is the dog that never barks. The periphery wants to use the euro, not jettison it for their own.

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