Sometimes when you’re faced with too many choices, the best thing is to do nothing at all. When I look at markets, I sense that many investors are thinking along the same lines. If true, I have sympathy for it. In the U.S. economy, the news flow has invited contradicting conclusions. The February NFP report in delivered a hawkish headline, but sluggish wage growth and a higher labour force participation rate suggest a goldilocks interpretation. It is similar in the global economy. We have the promise of a fiscal stimulus-boosted U.S. economy growing close to 4% adding further momentum to a synchronous global upturn. But data in the Eurozone have disappointed recently, and investors also have to count the risk of a tit-for-tat trade war in tariffs. Geopolitics, as always, loom on the horizon too. In FX markets, we are still debating whether reckless economic policies in the U.S. will drive the dollar lower or whether Make-America-Great-Again™ will revive the dollar bull. A wider twin deficit, in principle, could deliver both. We have also been discussing the Libor OIS spread, Italian politics, and of course, the ongoing tragedy of Brexit. I view markets through narratives, but I struggle to come up with one that captures all of the above.
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