March 16, 2017, 3:30pm EST Invest Alongside Billionaires For $297/Qtr
Following the Fed yesterday, we heard from the Bank of Japan overnight, and the Bank of England this morning. As for Europe, we heard from the ECB last week.
Coming into this week we’ve had this ongoing dynamic, for quite some time, of the Fed going one way on rates (up) and everyone else going the other way (cutting rates, QE, etc.).
That’s been good for the dollar, as global capital tends to flow toward areas with rising interest rates and better growth prospects. That combination tends to mean a rising currency and rising investment values. What really determines those flows though, is the perception of how that policy spread, between countries, may change. Most recently, that perceived change in the spread has been in favor of it growing, i.e. Fed policy tighter or at least stable, while other spots of the world considering even easier on monetary policy.
That divergence in policy has been bad for currencies like the euro, the pound and the yen. But that hit to the currency is part of the recipe. It promotes higher asset prices, better exports and growth. And as Bernanke says, QE tends to make stocks go up, which helps.
Still, those stocks have lagged the strength in U.S. stocks. With that, over the past six months or so, I’ve talked about the opportunities in European and Japanese stocks for a catch up trade.
While U.S. stocks have continued to set new record highs, stocks in Europe and Japan have yet to regain the highs of 2015 — when the global economy was knocked off course, first by slowing China and a surprise currency devaluation, and later by a crash in oil prices.
With that, if you think Trumponomics marked the end of the decade long deleveraging period (post-financial crisis), and that the Fed is signaling that by ending emergency level monetary policy, then the rest of the world should follow. That means the next move in Europe, Japan, the UK will be toward normalization, not toward more emergency policies.
That means the expectations on the policy gap narrows. With that, we may have seen the bottom in the euro. If negative interest rates and an election cycle that has parties that are outright promising to destroy the euro can’t push it to parity, what can? If it can’t go lower, it will go higher.
And if the euro has bottomed and the next move for the central bank in Europe is tapering, the first step toward ending emergency policies, then this stock market in Europe looks the most intriguing for a big catch up trade – still about 20% off of the 2015 highs and well below the pre-crisis all time highs.
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