Senior Funds Manager Felix Dornaus summarises his learning points from the presentations by the International Monetary Fund in Washington on 20 to 23 April 2018. Who were the winners and who the losers?
The environment on the financial markets has become a bit bleaker. Growth rates of industrial output and the survey-based indicators for economic growth are falling, while the trade conflict between the USA and China and the tense geopolitical situation in the Middle East has caused the risk for global growth to increase further. Will the environment remain generally supportive to risky asset classes?
The announcement by the US President, Donald Trump, to levy import tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminium (10%) has made waves. Can the favourable economic environment be toppled an will we see a trade war between the US and the EU?
Certainly, the National Congress of the Communist Party of China held every five years in Beijing is an important political event, but this year’s Party Congress was a milestone. It marked that a new era has begun in China. President Xi Jinping cemented his power further as China’s paramount leader, a leader, who might rule the country on the coming decade, a leader, who has high ambitions.
Driving through Beijing you will see megalomania without limits – in houses, traffic, and people. A trip in a tuk-tuk, which looks like a motorcycle on three wheels, allows you a short glance into the past. It is at these moments that the rift between rich and poor becomes obvious.
The following points reflect my impressions at the presentations that I attended at the IMF-meetings in Washington from 12 to 15 October 2017.
Long enough we have heard about the depreciation of Chinese currency Renmimbi (RMB), but this year RMB has showed rather unusual movements.
China has been increasingly opening up to the global market. Last year the Renminbi was taken into the currency basket of the International Monetary Fund in October 2016. Now, another step towards liberalisation has followed. China has cleared A-shares for international trade via trading platforms.
The spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was held in Washington from 20 to 23 April. This event was the reason for an investor conference that I attended in order to get an idea of the status quo of the global economy as well as of risks and opportunities.
Are we now on the other side of the recent price decline in the risky asset classes? Global equities, bonds with default risk, and emerging markets have been recording significant gains. Has the fundamental situation improved, or had the assets excessively negative events priced in?