Today’s focus will be on Europe. The U.S. is offering no economic data of serious interest for investors.
Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination yesterday, which was hardly a surprise for investors and with Trump’s speech at the Republican Party Convention not until tomorrow; even U.S. politics has a somewhat subdued feel to it.
In Europe however, political events continue to resonate.
The Turkish lira is now hovering around the lows for the year so far. The initial improvement in the currency in the wake of the suppression of the coup attempt over the weekend has given away to weakness.
The extend of arrests in the country since the weekend has attracted comment from a number of governments from around the world and markets would appear to be reflecting some of that international concern.
When markets got knowledge that the Turkish government had requested all university deans to resign, the Turkish lira
Besides that, any potential/additional damage to Turkish tourism will be a concern for the balance of payments for instance and through that the currency.
If all that wasn’t enough, Moody's just placed Turkey’s Baa3 issuer and bond ratings on review for downgrade, which means junk rating, and that didn’t help
Meanwhile, after UK Prime Minister Theresa May will have taken her first session of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, also referred to as PMQs, she will head off to Berlin for her first meeting with German Chancellor Merkel with whom she will discuss over dinner matters of mutual interest. The UK exit from the European Union is a matter of mutual interest, but it is not a matter of mutual agreement.
Interestingly, Prime Minister Theresa May said in her first cabinet meeting: “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it … we will not allow the country to be defined by Brexit.”
Brexit, or the UK exiting from the EU, is an event that will take much more time than many think today and that will have because of the time it will need will have an unavoidable negative impact on the EU economies and of course on the UK, but also on global economies and as shown in the latest IMF updated World Economic Outlook and the European Commission first economic outlook after the UK referendum.
For long-term investors, cash equivalents and gold could turn out to be the safe havens of choice because uncertainty will be with us for quite some time. At least, that’s how I see it.
Never forget that “patience” is a precious, but very rare, commodity in a waiting-game environment like the one we’re living through today.
At this stage, investors are going to be looking for some kind of indication as to the timing of the triggering of Article 50. Article 50 is the no-turning-back point.
Therefore, the British government will be keen to negotiate as much of a deal as is possible before it is triggered. Europe is concerned that the uncertainty of a delay may, and probably will, damage the European economy more significantly.
Uncertainty may also damage the UK economy. Europe therefore wants Article 50 triggered first, but let’s not overlook that any settlement will require and unanimous agreement across the European Union, so pre-negotiating with one or two countries like with Germany and France could in the end prove to be counterproductive.
In all honesty, it’s really all a little bit of a mess.
IMF chief economist Maury Obstfeld said, “Brexit has thrown a spanner in the works, but he also added, there is no need for the G-20 “to tame” foreign exchange markets in the wake of Brexit.”
The only thing we can say is that he is right, at least until now…
Finally, the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey
shows that cash levels are now at 5.8 percent of portfolios, which is the highest level since November 2001.
It will be interesting to see if those cash levels will continue to rise.
Etienne "Hans" Parisis
is a bank economist who has advised global billionaires and governments on the financial markets and international investments. To read more of his articles, GO HERE NOW.
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