Global CIO Commentary by Scott Minerd
Edging into spring, we should expect a bumpy and rather noisy journey as weak U.S. economic data caused by a severe winter shows up in economic reports. In fact, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday retooled its forward guidance on the path of interest rates to give it more flexibility to react to shifting data as needed. However, I believe the underlying U.S. economy is in good shape. As the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda once said, “You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
While a spring rebound should help U.S. markets climb higher, international tensions remain elevated. Relations between the West and Russia have sunk to levels not seen since the Cold War. Russia’s annexation of Crimea confirms that President Vladimir Putin does not respond to threats, so we can expect ongoing instability from the region which is likely to keep U.S. interest rates subdued.
Chinese economic growth has slowed, prompting Beijing to soften its growth forecasts. Interestingly, the People’s Bank of China has widened the renminbi’s official trading band. Increased volatility can now be expected, as policymakers have greater flexibility to depreciate the currency in an effort to boost exports and maintain employment levels.
Abenomic’s “three-arrows” approach to stimulating more robust economic growth in Japan has stalled. Growth momentum is slowing and Abenomic’s third and most important arrow -- undertaking structural reforms -- is not hitting its target. The Bank of Japan may have to do more to stimulate the economy to offset the headwinds from April’s sales tax hike, Japan’s first major tax hike in 17 years.
Now, a couple of months before many investors will start wondering if they should “sell in May,” we remain in a risk-on environment -- U.S. stock prices should go higher, credit spreads should tighten, and any interest-rate increases should be muted. The rumblings in Crimea, China and Japan have done little to change that outlook. In fact, potential Chinese renminbi and Japanese yen devaluations could export deflationary pressure into the United States, potentially pushing 10-year U.S. Treasury yields lower. On balance, for now it appears that the song remains the same.
Depreciating Asian Currencies Could Ease U.S. Prices
With China’s economic growth slowing, the People’s Bank of China has widened the official trading band for the renminbi, a sign that Chinese policymakers are willing to accept further depreciation of the RMB, which has fallen 2 percent against the U.S. dollar over the past month. RMB depreciation could set off a round of competitive devaluation in Asia, as Japan and other Asian countries try to keep their exports competitive. This would ultimately benefit the United States, as the strength of the dollar is closely tied to import prices and thus, overall price levels.
BROAD TRADE WEIGHTED U.S. DOLLAR AND IMPORT PRICES
Source: Bloomberg, Guggenheim Investments. Data as of 2/28/2014.
Guggenheim Investments represents the investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC ("Guggenheim"). Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC is an affiliate of Guggenheim.
Read a prospectus and summary prospectus (if available) carefully before investing. It contains the investment objective, risks charges, expenses and the other information, which should be considered carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus (if available) click here or call 800.820.0888.
Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.
*Assets under management is as of 06.30.2022 and includes leverage of $18.3bn. Guggenheim Investments represents the following affiliated investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC: Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC, Security Investors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Corporate Funding, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Europe Limited, Guggenheim Partners Japan Limited, GS GAMMA Advisors, LLC, and Guggenheim Partners India Management. Securities offered through Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC.
Guggenheim Investments. All rights reserved.
Research our firm with FINRA Broker Check.
• Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value
This website is directed to and intended for use by citizens or residents of the United States of America only. The material provided on this website is not intended as a recommendation or as investment advice of any kind, including in connection with rollovers, transfers, and distributions. Such material is not provided in a fiduciary capacity, may not be relied upon for or in connection with the making of investment decisions, and does not constitute a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities. All content has been provided for informational or educational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and/or a legal opinion. Always consult a financial, tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.