We saw some fear and panic… for about a whole week. Well, in truth, the institutional money didn’t even flinch. The market bounced hard. The Evergrande situation unfolding in China is still rather risky, although it seems that the CCP are doing a rather good job at a ‘controlled demolition’. They might be making an example of Evergrande in an effort to cool off property speculation in general. There have also been some large repurchase agreement (repo) activity over the weekend, which is indicative of monetary stimulus measures to prevent contagion into other sectors. For now it seems, with some help from central banks (as usual), that the bull is strong yet!
Last week we pondered the idea of hedging longer-term portfolios for some downside protection. We also looked at a few instruments that could easily be added to your portfolio in order to provide that protection. This week we do not really have much to add, other than to reiterate the warning given last week. We think that it might get a little bumpy over the coming weeks. Thus we are happy to sit with some short protection and wait for better setups.
are the fund managers. In fact, allocations into equities are the highest they’ve been since the 2009 global financial crisis. This worries us. Which has us asking if it’s time to hedge portfolios?
So the much anticipated Jackson Hole symposium is over and believe it or not, the wheels did not fall off. Fed chair Jerome Powell was rather dovish in fact. Although he said that the process to begin tapering can begin, he also implied that there is not set (or anticipated) start date. Thus the market infers that there will be no tapering until November. In the meantime, the delta-variant of the covid-19 virus still poses the most immediate risk in the form of further global lockdowns and supply chain disruptions. It seems that the central bankers will remain ‘accommodating’ until they feel this threat is no longer a threat. Apologies to the next generation that has to foot the bill.
All eyes are on Jerome Powell and the Jackson Hole symposium this week. Jerome Powell is expected to talk on the 26th of August and the market is waiting to hear when we can expect tapering. Although tapering the does not mean a sudden and abrupt end to QE, the market certainly will pretend that it does up until the very minute that it actually happens. We think it is almost inevitable now that we see some tapering by the end of the year. This does not mean that we see interest rate hikes, or a complete end to bond/asset purchases by the FED. It does mean though that the rate at which they are providing liquidity to the market will slow down. This could cause a bit of a speed wobble and some risk-off sentiment.
excited about. Overall though, we expect the week ahead to be ‘risk on’. At least for the developed world. South African markets might be facing its own headwinds and continued currency fallout as a result of the cabinet reshuffle last week. Setups are sparse, so play defense and don’t try to force trades that are not there.
As anticipated, the FOMC made no changes to interest rates last week and are unlikely to make any real moves without very clearly communicating it to the market. Our focus now shifts to the Jackson Hole symposium to be held near the end of the month. We think that Jerome Powell will likely use Jackson Hole as the platform on which to start communicating tapering warnings to the market. At some point the FED must admit that the printing is creating inflation. Although it will likely not do so directly, we can watch the language use around the topic. It was interesting to note that Powell essentially admitted that he does not know ‘where’ inflation is coming from. He also stated that inflation is likely to stay around longer than initially anticipated.
The events of the last week have been nothing short of horrific. But once again, we have shown that the South African spirit cannot be broken! People of all kinds have rallied to not only protect their communities and loved ones, but also to rebuild, repair and bring support to those most severely impacted by the attempted insurrection. Our ability to indiscriminately band together in the face of adversity is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength. And to that end, I want to use this week’s post to encourage you to support KZN this Mandela Day.
The last two weeks have been tough. In all honesty, the reason this blog post is only being posted now is because I found it difficult to not express an opinion on the current happenings in our country. It is deeply concerning. I must have written and rewritten this first paragraph at least ten times. It just feels disingenuous to write up a blog post that optimistically looks for opportunities, while our cities are burning. So with a heavy heart, I have to force myself to clear my mind of the anxiety and noise and focus on the charts.
We have to admit that today’s post was difficult to write. It is hard to focus on opportunities in the week ahead while our country appears to be… well, having a really rough time. We often say that we must filter out the noise and focus only on those things that can accurately analyse (aka. the chart), so that is exactly what we are going to do. Besides, the world’s financial markets are looking fairly good and we’ve positioned well for strength in the offshore portfolio’s. The only thing to do now really is to be patient and hold our positions.