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Information overload

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • Thursday turned out to be a big day. The US administration did an effective U-turn on taxing imports of steel and aluminum. By offering temporary exemptions to the EU and South Korea (and others), after already exempting Canada and Mexico, most imports are now untaxed.
  • There will be taxes on Americans who dare to buy goods partially made in China (though which goods will be taxed is unclear). China replied with some taxes of its own. The US taxes will be delayed, giving time to lobby against them. The equity market reaction (bad) might be the most effective lobbyist.
  • The US Congress agreed on some deficit financed spending (stimulus). The spending will take time. National Security Advisor McMaster will be replaced by former Ambassador Bolton. This might raise geopolitical risks, but markets rarely focus on those. The sense of White House instability and more unconventional policy is more likely to worry investors.
  • The EU heads of government summit continues, having adopted a rather hostile tone to Russia (investors will want to see if sanctions follow). Four US Fed speakers crowd the agenda – with Powell less likely to provide intellectual leadership, the views of the wider Fed are more important to markets.