After weeks of relative stability, the threat of a trade war has returned, shaking investor confidence and awakening markets from complacency. However, while there is still a significant optimism in the market that a deal can be struck, we believe that the risk of disappointment leading to another wave of volatility remains significant.
President Donald Trump’s performance on the US economy gives him a significant advantage over his Democratic rivals heading into the 2020 election. However, Trump has consistently polled poorly with voters on character issues including leadership, temperament and management skills. The potential fallout from the Mueller report and ongoing House investigations remain wildcards. The 2020 election could be another close call, possibly a 50-50 tossup at this stage ...
Prime Minister Modi led the NDA to a sweeping victory, with a full majority in Parliament and therefore significant political capital. There was some apprehension in the market ahead of the election and a clear majority will certainly soothe nerves.
The results are broadly in line with what opinion polls had indicated, although with a slight “pro-institution” surprise. Key takeaways are, first, a decline in the votes for the two large political groups which are the social-democrats and the Christian-democrats or moderate right; these two parties had, since 1979, commanded a combined majority in the European Parliament, and this is now over.
Since early 2016, US HY default rates have experienced a sort of “mini –cycle”, peaking at the end of 2016. Nevertheless, the recent rise and fall movements appear mostly commodity driven: default rates would have remained fairly stable if energy and material sectors were excluded from calculations.