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Economic & Financial Analysis

Asian Indices go higher after China cuts it's rates

Asian Indices go higher after China cuts it's rates

China cuts Loan Prime Rates: 1 year to 3.7% (from 3.8%) & 5 year to 4.6% (from 4.65%)

The People's Bank of China cut its Medium-Term Lending Facility rate to 2.85%

  • from 2.95%
  • injected 700bn yuan with 500bn maturing
  • 1 year MLF
  • first cut since April of 2020

On the 7-day reverse repo today, rate cut to 2.1% from 2.2%

  • 100bn yuan injected today
  • 10bn yuan matured today

On Thursday this week, 20 January, we get 1 year and 5 year Loan Prime Rates set. 

A cut to the MLF will be seen as an indication the LPR rates too could see a cut.

Asian stock go higher after this Bank of China Move Nikkei +1% , Topix +0,89, Kospi +0,49, Hang Seng +2,38% 

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Markets Expectations for 2022 regarding Stocks, Gold, Oil and Commodities

Markets Expectations for 2022 regarding Stocks, Gold, Oil and Commodities

As we started a new year 2022, we want to present you our conclusions on markets and an analysis of our managed portfolio. In this article, we will analyse four major assets: Stocks, Gold, Oil and Commodities.

After stellar gains registered in 2021, in 2022 markets are expected to grow at a moderate peace, due to the rising risks.

We are bullish on Gold and Silver, and we are also confident on a future increasing in agricultural commodities, as we also presented in our article: https://topfxinvest.com/blog/we-anticipate-the-food-crisis-in-2022 

Now let’s take a look on some factors that can influence stock markets in 2022:

Bullish Factors:

  • The domestic economy is growing
  • Consumer spending overall is strong
  • Employment is expanding, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.1% from 4.2%.
  • Corporate earnings are growing by 27% (Apple it's $3 trillion company & Tesla deliveries grow by 87%)
  • Covid-19 Pandemic new variant Omicron is decreases in death rates

Bearish Factors:

  • Rising interest rates: FED official announced this week that they see this year three, instead of two interest rates increase
  • Some stocks are extremely overvalued, like FTNT (over 100%: yesterday we closed our position on FTNT) or MRNA. Also, almost 100 stocks from S&P500 index are up over 50%, which is too much in our opinion. If US interest rate will hit 5%, stocks will go down badly, similar to the 1987 crisis.
  • Continuing inflationary pressures because of transportations issues. We already discussed this topic in our article Shipping Congestions and higher prices will continue until ends of 2022 according to Morgan Stanley
  • Global tensions between Russia and US on Ukraine / Kazakhstan, also China and US on Taiwan, which are possible to extend into some major conflicts.
  • Covid-19 Omicron it's still here, and we cannot anticipate the implications of other virus mutations. If we have other lockdowns because of new pandemic outbreaks, stocks will be badly hit.

Other opinions regarding stocks:

JPMorgan Kolanovic says to buy the dip:

“Higher bond yields should not be disruptive for equities, but rather support our call for a growth to value rotation. […] We stay positive on equities and expect Omicron will ultimately prove a positive for risk assets, as this milder but more transmissible variant speeds the transition from pandemic to endemic with a lower human toll. As this wave fades, it will likely mark the end of the pandemic Omicron’s lower severity and high transmissibility crowds out more severe variants and leads to broad natural immunity”.

On congested supply lines: “signs of supply constraints potentially passing their worst point”

BlackRock's largest fund asset has an optimistic view, but they raise concerns over China Covid19 policy: 

“The Fed has signalled three rate rises this year – more than we expected. Markets seem primed to equate higher rates as being negative for equities. We’ve seen this before and don’t agree. What really matters is that the Fed has kept signalling a low sum total of rate hikes, and that didn’t change last week. This historically muted response to inflation should keep real policy rates low, in our view, supporting equities.” 

“And not all spikes in long term yields are the same. Last week’s jump in U.S. Treasury yields was about the Fed signalling a readiness to start shrinking its balance sheet. This could result in a return of the term premium that investors typically demand for the risk of holding long-term bonds. This is not necessarily negative for risk assets as it can reflect an investor preference for equities over government bonds.”

Regarding China slows growth rate: “The key question is how China’s zero-COVID policy will stand up against Omicron. The policy so far has proven effective and enjoyed popular support, but has left China with almost no natural immunity. We expect the country to maintain the policy – at least optically – in this politically important year. This raises the spectre of more restrictions on activity, from targeted measures that keep the economy humming (Shanghai) to full-scale lockdowns (Xi’an). As a result, we believe downside risks to China’s growth have risen, even as Beijing appears bent on achieving its growth target this year by loosening policy.”

We think it's reasonable for Gold to push a higher price to 2500 after a huge stimulus amount, but it will happen only after the FED finishes raising the interest rates. Oil will slow down only after the inflation will also slow down, probably in the second part of the year according to Citi Bank Forecast 

We added to our portfolio some agricultural commodities and precious metals (Gold and Silver). and we sold some positions like: Tesla, Fortinet, Shopify, DocuSIgn, Disney, TradeDesk. In 2022 we plan to add more dividend stocks because we have a more neutral view on this year’s growth.

Further, I'm not a big fan of Crypto currencies. 40K for Bitcoin is a good price, but if it goes further under 30K, it's a good to buy and hold bet.

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Types of 'Flations in Economies: Inflation, Hyperinflation, Deflation, Crossflation, Stagflation

Types of 'Flations in Economies: Inflation, Hyperinflation, Deflation, Crossflation, Stagflation

Where are we today?!

Today, markets are in a recessionary stage because of more than a decade of financial bad investments; we are witnessing a process of money creation (Helicopter Money) to a scale that a few years ago was unimaginable for the financial world.

Money creation from nothing by the FED was growing with approx. 22% in 2020 because of the Covid19 pandemic outbreak, but if we have a look over the past 50 years, we have few times only 10 percent money increase from one year to another. To give you an idea about the magnitude of this move, it's a must to say that in WW2 money creation was only 15%, and it was further followed by a two digits inflation.

This process of money creation is happening at a global scale, including FED, European Central Banks and Japanese Central Bank.

What is Inflation?!

Inflation represents increases in the money supply, as a consequence of monetary inflation. If the FED will print more money, than a larger amount of money will chase the same amount of goods and services. Inflation it's happening also when production can't keep the pace, or when we have disruptions on transports of goods. Central Banks consider a small inflation as a good thing, as this will stimulate people to spend more money, therefore it also works as a catalyst for economy. It's famous that 2% represents a very good target for inflation.

When we have two digits inflation, we call it Hyperinflation, or inflation it's out of control, this being the worst scenario that could happen for an economy. There are many examples in the history, with hyperinflation that carried a huge negative impact over countries like Germany before WW2, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia and Greece - more on this, at: https://www.cnbc.com/2011/02/14/The-Worst-Hyperinflation-Situations-of-All-Time.html

We talk about Deflation as the opposite process of inflation, when the money supply shrinks. In a Deflation scenario, a smaller amount of money targets the same amount of goods and services. As we mentioned earlier, a small inflation is considered good for economy, and this is also valid for a small deflation.

With little deflation, prudent investors are rewarded because their money are more valuable, but if we have an aggressive deflation (like 2008 scenario) the debtors are punished. High rates of deflation imply a high rate of defaults and further, shrinking in the assets value.

At the present moment, we are witnessing a deflation scenario because we register low discretionary spending. People changed their habits during the Covid19 pandemic, they now prefer low budget activities like watching Netflix with home-made popcorn, instead of going to the IMAX movie theatre. Very few from the middle class will celebrate anniversary birthdays on expensive restaurants with $250 champagne and Taxis.

Risk appetite will continue to slow down during 2022, a year that will be marked probably by more bankruptcies and lower corporate spending. Deflation is everywhere to be seen in 2022 and Governments will have to play a more decisive role for economies in the following years, as some sectors in the economies will start to collapse under the pressure of Inflation, while some others will be relieved under Deflation, thus creating a concurrent mixing Inflation / Deflation scenario, which emerged into a new concept: Crossflation.

What Is Stagflation?

Stagflation (economic stagnation) is characterized by slow economic growth, high unemployment rates, and a continuous pressure of the rising prices. Stagflation can be alternatively defined as a period of inflation combined with a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

A challenging 2022 will bring more insecurity, but also new opportunities for informed investors that are willing to take risks.

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We Anticipate a Food Crisis in 2022. How to protect your investments in case of a Food Crisis

We Anticipate a Food Crisis in 2022. How to protect your investments in case of a Food Crisis

The news about higher prices of food abounds in online stream media. Agricultural prices will go higher in 2022 and will have a significant impact on CPI. The main reason of higher agricultural prices in 2022 are Shortage of Fertilizers. Fertilizers prices have grown up this year because of the higher prices of gas and transportation disruptions.

Fertilizer shortage

Crops benefit more from fertilizer treatments in the early phases of the planting season. Delayed or missed application during the cycle will almost certainly result in lower yields, which tightens the food supply and drives the prices up.

Transportation disruptions because of Covid19 outbreak has affected also delivery of parts for agricultural machinery. Many farmers acquired some agricultural machinery components from over 1000 km distance. Farmers from Ukraine – the main corn producer in Europe – bought agricultural machinery parts from Austria or Germany with considerable time delays (over three months). Many farmers are purchasing parts in advance for safekeeping.

U.S. farmers appear pessimistic. Agricultural producer sentiment has started to decline in recent months. The sentiment for future conditions is now nearly as low as it was in the peak economic closure of the 2020 pandemic. Farmers have expressed concern over high input costs – i.e., fertilizer prices – weakening their operating margins.

farmer Sentiment 2021

We play this trade idea to buy Agricultural Funds like:

  • Invesco DB Agriculture Fund (DBA)
  • Elements Linked to the Rogers International Commodity Index — Agriculture Total Return ETN (RJA)
  • Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN)

For European traders, we have limited opportunities via Lyxor Commodities Refinitiv / CoreCommodity CRB EX-Energy TR UCITS ETF – Acc (CRN). Lyxor is a fund with over 56% exposure on agricultural products, and also precious metals (11.78%) and commodities stocks (11.35%).

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ECB Meeting Today Preview September 2020

ECB Meeting Today  Preview September 2020

The ECB has a monetary policy announcement on Thursday and many investors are wondering if euro will fall as the CAD or AUD.ECB was one of the most dovish central bank because of COVID spread and low performance economy.

What we need to watch today:

  • Consensus looks for a slowdown in the pace of PEPP purchases during Q4
  • A decision on the future of PEPP is not expected to take place at the upcoming meeting
  • Economic forecasts are set to see upgrades to 2021 growth and inflation. 2023 inflation is set to remain sub-target

Focus for PEPP will instead fall on the Q4 pace of purchases which is set to be lowered from the current "significantly higher" level of EUR 80bln/month

The press conference will likely see President Lagarde caution that any slowing in the pace of purchases for PEPP will not be regarded as a "taper" as purchases are not on track to reach zero and policymakers will vow to maintain favorable financing conditions.

Policymakers were not expecting to make a decision on the future of PEPP bond purchases in September given the persistent uncertainty posed by the pandemic but. , a decision in October or December was seen as more likely.

Chart below you can see nomura forecast on PEPP

Ecb Tapering Forecast

What about Rates

Rates according to Lagarde will “remain at their present or lower levels until it sees inflation reaching two per cent well ahead of the end of its projection horizon and durably for the rest of the projection horizon, and it judges that realised progress in underlying inflation is sufficiently advanced to be consistent with inflation stabilising at two per cent over the medium term."

Ing case scenario on ECB Forecast
ING ECB meeting forecast

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