Stocks, bond yields and the dollar fell on Tuesday, while gold rose as investors drew in their horns in response to comments on the dollar from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and ahead of a speech on Brexit from British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The week ahead will be a busy one, with a plethora of events including the Davos shindig, where particular focus will be on Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first Chinese president to attend. China will also announce GDP on Friday, which also marks the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th US president. Tuesday brings Theresa May's long-awaited Brexit speech.
Sterling fell, equities slid, Chinese markets got a helping government intervention hand again, and gold climbed over concerns U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is prepared to lead Britain out of the European Union’s single market and as the U.S. President-elect suggested other countries could break from the bloc.
"The opinions of experts concerning the future are accorded great weight . . . but they’re still just opinions. While I take a dim view of forecasts, and especially of opinions presented as facts, I do believe there are such things as facts. Unfortunately, however, the concept of 'facts' is among the casualties of the increasingly partisan environment. Recently we have seen both the elevation in status of 'non-facts', as well as the tearing down of 'real facts'."
European shares rose as Fiat rebounded on hopes concerns about parallel to Volkswagen are overblown, Asian stocks were little as Chinese shares fell to the lowest level of 2017 after poor export data, and U.S. equity-index futures rose ahead of a deluge of bank earnings. The dollar is headed for a weekly loss and gold trades at the highest price in almost two months.
For those tapping the fixed income markets, the borrowing bingefest is conspicuous in its constancy. Not only did global bond issuance top $6.6 trillion last year, a fresh record, sales are off to a galloping start thus far in January.
"The news conference was a far cry from the market friendly, pro-growth "presidential" comments that Trump delivered at his acceptance speech," wrote analysts at Westpac, adding it left a "veritable laundry list" of questions unanswered.
It is premature to make investment decisions based on rhetoric and threats. It is also possible that much of this bluster could simply be the opening bid in what is a peaceful renegotiation of global trade agreements. Regardless, we must pay close attention as trade conflicts and their consequences can escalate quickly.
A stunning new analysis from Trulia suggests that rising interest rates in 4Q 2016 may actually be having the desired effect of cooling home sales, despite the best efforts of Obama to keep the party rolling at the expense of American taxpayers.
"It has become increasingly clear that Moody’s rating methodology and agenda are far from objective and independent. Your current rating does not accurately reflect the city’s credit or our ability to pay debt service when due."
According to BofA, retail sales ex-autos declined 1.0% mom seasonally adjusted in December. "This contrasts with other indicators of consumer strength including reports of a robust holiday shopping season, a rebound in consumer confidence and strong autos sales... we think it is prudent to prepare for a similarly negative number in Friday's report."
European and Asian shares, the dollar and crude all rose before President-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since July at 11am on Wednesday, while S&P futures are little changed. Surging raw-materials stocks sent Asian stocks higher. Oil rebounds from the lowest level in a month.
Global stocks were fractionally lower in early European trading, closed Asia mixed, while S&P futures were unchanged, as the dollar fell for a second day on concerns ahead of Trump's press conference on Wednesday. Oil rebounded after its Monday plunge, while commodity metals like iron ore rose limit up in Chinese trading.