Where Are We Headed?
This weekly is on the early side and I am wary of what Friday brings, especially as the debt ceiling saga gives rise to further bond market volatility.
US Fed talk of tapering by year-end, further clampdowns by China on its big tech and rising delta variant cases placing further strains on supply chains all contributed to a rough week for markets.
Tapering will only happen if employment data shows meaningful gains between now and the end of the year. Otherwise, tapering will get kicked down the road.
The China clampdown does not look like spilling over into contagion risk. Rather, it’s more a show of strength between Beijing and big China tech with Beijing wanting control over data under the pretext of protecting consumers.
With news that existing vaccines are not so effective, the delta variant has big implications and companies, especially SMEs, are suffering across the globe as freight and supply lines get hammered. A booster dose programme is underway, but this will take time to roll out.
Also prominent in the headlines this week was the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. After 20+ years of Allied presence there, $1TN+ spent on the economy and having built and trained an army 300,000+ in size, it was remarkable how quickly the country fell to the Taliban.
Whilst a decent size population and plenty of natural resources such as copper, gold, oil, gas, uranium, bauxite, coal, and iron ore, means Afghanistan has plenty of potential to build its economy. The world is watching closely to see what happens next.
* Source 1
July Manufacturing in the US surged 1.4% m/m (June: -0.3% m/m) boosted by motor vehicle output.
While in Japan, exports grew 37.0% y/y (June: 48.6% y/y) marking the fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth with US bound exports (especially Autos) the main driver at 26.8% y/y.
In the UK, a survey by SWMAS* of 260 SMEs revealed 96% of them are struggling with rising costs with BREXIT and Covid being blamed.
* Source 2