A broad-based synchronised recovery continues to gain traction. Following the strongest year of global growth since 2010 (estimated at 3%) the consensus forecast for the current year looks to be even rosier.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has taken its first step towards reducing its stimulus programme by omitting the mention of "lower levels" for interest rates in its forward guidance, even as ECB President Mario Draghi denied that there was any discussion of tapering in the latest policy session.
The Trump reflation trade may have lost some of its shine during the quarter, but any disappointment was more than overshadowed by strong global data as exports and production continued to gather pace. In fact, fading enthusiasm for Trump’s ability to execute has arguably served as a tailwind for Emerging Market (EM) assets in the form of a weaker dollar and moderating long term rates.
With President Trump announcing that he will be releasing his tax plans in the coming weeks, we have shifted to a more cautious position on US duration. The risk is that President Trump announces a sizeable stimulus package, with the backing of the broad Republican base. This would raise fears that the US Federal Reserve would need to act more quickly than expected, and with markets only pricing in two or three rate hikes in 2017, we believe that markets are under-pricing the risks of this announcement.
2016 may best be remembered as the year in which Trump won and the world changed. The question becomes which reforms will take centre stage.
Emerging markets (EM) have endured strong adjustments in commodities and currencies that coupled with reforms makes a good case for better growth ahead. Still, it will take time for EM to navigate to more stable sources of growth, requiring relative stability through the delicate transition.
The UK's late June vote in favour of 'Brexit' was initially read as a deep negative, particularly given that markets were priced strongly in favour of a 'Remain' vote. However, after brief reflection, markets outside the region saw a rally, with risk asset performance more than making up for Brexit losses. Emerging markets have been a primary beneficiary...
2016 began in complete panic, with risk assets including emerging markets selling off deeply through the first few weeks of the year. This was then followed by the strongest rally since 2012.
In early 2016, hedge fund Nevsky Capital decided to call it quits after 15 years of successful asset management. One of the reasons for the closure is that since the global financial crisis, emerging markets are breaking away from the transparent 'Washington Concensus' model.