“Peace for our time”
Despite the fact that the German IFO survey was ‘I-ful’, with the official word being that the outlook is “increasingly dire”, and that US core durable goods were -0.4% vs. flat expected, both of which confirm that the real economy is perhaps in real trouble, markets seemed to sigh with relief yesterday. The reason? We have the promise of “peace for our time”. After all, according to the press, US President Trump held out an olive branch to China on trade; and to Iran; and was there perhaps the suggestion of another brunch being offered from Boris Johnson to the EU?
Let’s focus on the US issue first. Nothing we saw or heard yesterday–nothing at all–changes any of the dynamic that we have seen for a long time now. Trump praised Chairman Xi to the skies, and repeated that China wants to make a deal very badly, so much so that they had already called to kick-start talks. Meanwhile, China stated it knew nothing about any such call, and the editor of the Global Times tweeted “Based on what I know, Chinese and US top negotiators didn’t hold phone talks in recent days. The two sides have been keeping contact at technical level, it doesn’t have significance that President Trump suggested. China didn’t change its position. China won’t cave to US pressure.” So very little chance of trade peace for our time. Nonetheless, as usual, the equity market fell for this while the smarter bond market largely didn’t – and neither did CNH.
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