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Concerns about trade continue to take centre stage. While US assets have so far been resilient amid escalating protectionist rhetoric, markets targeted by tariffs are under pressure.
Two events pushed down Eurozone sovereign spreads in 2017: the French presidential election in April & May, which dissipated investors’ fears about Eurosceptic movements, and the announcement on 26 October of a smaller-than-expected reduction in ECB’s QE for 2018 (monthly purchases lowered from € 60 bn to €30bn).
The recent sharp correction of equity markets and the increase in yields which have materialized since the start of the year have created a turbulent phase, interrupting the “Garden of Eden” kind of setting which investors were getting used to.
We have repeatedly mentioned how financial markets have tended to overestimate the risks of European elections, underestimate the fears of the Brexit and overestimate hopes on Trump’s economic policy.