Tags: Fiscal | Cliff | stocks | election

Fund Manager: Fiscal-Cliff Fears Will Kill Any Election-Relief Rally

Tuesday, 06 Nov 2012 10:29 AM

The United States will soon know who will occupy the White House for the next four years, although don't expect a relief rally to pump up stock prices despite an end to electoral uncertainty.

A fast approaching combination of tax hikes and spending cuts striking the economy at the same time will keep investors on edge, one fund manager says.

“I don’t see a swift re-entry into risk assets because there are still lots of different catalysts (for uncertainty) – once the U.S. elections are over. We have the fiscal cliff and after the fiscal cliff, we still have Europe,” Nick Maroutsis, Managing Director at fund manager Kapstream told CNBC.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

“Ultimately, investors are likely to remain cautious, they will dip their toes into the markets and focus on equities in the U.S., then Asia and Europe.”

At the end of this year, the Bush-era tax cuts and other tax breaks are scheduled to expire at the same time automatic cuts to government spending are poised to kick in, a combination known as a fiscal cliff that could send the country into a recession next year if left unchecked by Congress.

Lawmakers have been unwilling to touch tax and spending issues in an election year, though some have suggested they can tackle the problem during a lame duck session afterwards or even in early 2013 after the country goes over the cliff by punting deadlines.

Either way, expect investors to stay parked on the sidelines, others also note.

“If there is a clear victory for (President Barack) Obama, then there’s probably going to be ‘risk on’ for a couple of days, maybe a week,” Ron Rennie, global head of currency strategy at Westpac Bank in Sydney also told CNBC.

“I still think you sell into this – because we would still have the status quo — a Democrat president, a House held by the Democrats, the Congress held by the Republicans, nothing gets done. So I like selling that strength on risk.”

U.S. investors aren't the only ones fretting the fiscal cliff — the whole world is, considering the levels of brinkmanship and finger-pointing during the 2011 debt-ceiling debacle that nearly threw the country into default.

The White House and Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling at the very last minute.

"If the United States fails to resolve the fiscal cliff it would hit the U.S. economy hard as well as the world and the Japanese economy, so each G20 country will urge the United States to firmly deal with it," Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said before a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers, according to Reuters.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

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