Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016. Then the next question is: what does it mean to the financial markets? As Mr Trump plans to increase the federal debt to invest in infrastructure, the markets now expect high interest rates worldwide, but if you look at President Trump’s policies more carefully, you might assume something different could take place: rate cuts and QE.
The US GDP data for the third quarter of 2016 is what investors, including us, have been waiting for, because it is much more relevant for future rate hikes than the job data, which the Fed claims to be caring about.
The job data has already been very strong for a long time, and thus if the Fed’s preoccupation is indeed the labour market, it must have already raised rates this year, which is not the case.
So the Fed, or at least Janet Yellen, is caring about the slowdown of the US GDP growth, and the new data showed that the slowdown is indeed ongoing, and rate hakes, if any, would put an end to the already weak growth.
Although the US labour market has already been very tight for a long time, the Fed has been hesitating to raise interest rates.
The Fed insists that its policy depends on the labour market, supposing that the strong job data leads to high inflation, but despite almost full employment in the US economy, there has been no rate hike since the first rate hike in December 2015. The reason is obvious: the Fed is not seeing the job data but seeing something else.
Since the first rate hike in Dec 2015, the Fed has been in the course of normalizing interest rates. Although we as well as many of the famed hedge fund managers expect the central bank will eventually cease raising rates and resume easing, it is still reasonable to assume one or two rate hikes in 2016 are still possible.
Even if it happens, rate cuts will follow it anyway, but it is important for investors to consider how to trade on the temporary monetary tightening. As federal funds rates futures expect only one rate hike in 2016, two rate hikes will be a surprise if it happens.
In 2016, the Fed is trying to raise interest rates. The US economy is actually starting to decelerate, but the Core CPI (excluding food and enegies) is edging higher. If this uptrend is long-term, the Fed might be forced to rush for rate hikes undesirably.
Will that happen? Is the US economy going into stagnation? In this article we argue the outlook of inflation in the US and its influence on rate hikes, the stock markets and the gold price.
The dollar will fall, and the yen will strengthen in 2016. The Fed could not continue to raise rates, and the strong yen will be back again as the Bank of Japan’s monetary expansion is now limited.
There might be a number of investors who still bet on the yen’s fall due to Abenomics, but we recommend to reconsider. We even recommend to buy the currencies under quantitative easing, such as the yen or the euro. Here are the reasons.
After the mortgage loan crisis in 2008, as the Fed started quantitative easing, the gold price once reached $1,900 in 2011. However, as the Fed stopped the QE in 2014 and started raising interest rates in 2015, the gold price has been radically falling.
The US stock market still remains at around the all-time high after the Fed started raising rates, and that is because investors believe, rationally or not, that the strong US economy will keep equity appreciated even without the support of the Fed. However, the US economy will slowdown, and then the stock market will lose its last resort.
As the last article discussed the overall view of the financial markets in 2016, this article aims to specifically discuss the stock market.
We have insisted the easy market fuelled by the QE is already over, and the stock market will face difficulties and uncertainties. The following three remarks conclude our general forecast for the US stock market:
- The upside is limited due to rate hikes and the strong dollar
- A sudden plunge can always happen, presumably by 10-30%
- It still take a while till the total collapse of the QE bubble
In such a situation, mere buying or selling cannot be profitable. Both of short selling and the long-short strategy have some flaws. Then what can we do? After long contemplation, our conclusion is as below.
The easy market for investors supported by the Fed’s quantitative easing is already over, and now the question is merely when, not if, the asset bubble bursts in several markets. The assets in a bubble are stocks, bonds and the dollar.
The Fed has ended its QE programme and is now in a process of raising interest rates. Will the US stock market be okay? It can never be okay as the central bank has injected trillions of money and is now going to retrieve it, but the market is manifesting groundless optimism.
The greatest premise investors believe in is the strong US economy and thus the strong dollar. However, the time is near for the uptrend of the dollar to be fading out. Why, how, and when? We will explain it in this article.