Easy to digest bullet point summary of the current state of the markets, worldwide (as of March 2018):
US in General
- Market has went up for years without correction, so recent pullback doesn’t indicate change in market dynamics, just a pullback.
- Interest rates rose. 10-year rate around Fall 2017 was between 2 to 2.35 and in February 2018, it rose to as much as 3.0
- Real fear was triggered by employment data that showed wage increase, which is the first sign of real inflation we’ve seen in years.
- More importantly, this spooked the market that the Fed would raise rates and tamper signs of inflation. This is less accommodative and not good for growth.
- GDP growth still (relatively) strong and positive 2-3%
- Short term interest rate targeted by the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is at 1.50%
- 10-Year T-Bill yield is at 2.84%, higher than Fall 2017.
- Real GDP estimate is at 2.50 for 2018, 2.10 for 2019, and 2.00 for 2020.
- Unemployment rate is at 4.00% right now and is expected to fall over the next 2 year
- Japan has been in a deflationary environment since the 90’s and continues to try to stimulate inflation (their rates are super low; 10yr around 0%)
- Their Real GDP (yoy) is at 1.5 for Q4 2017.
- Unemployment rate has been pretty stagnant and hovers around 2.8.
- Industrial production (yoy) has been between 4 to 6 throughout 2017.
- 10 year generic government bond has a yield of 0.06
- China’s GDP is at 6.8 for Q4 2017 and maintains at target of 6.5% for 2018.
- Chinese Central Bank is focused on quality growth, and reducing systematic risks.
- It is currently on a slightly hawkish stance, and has raised rates to support a deleveraging drive to reduce systematic risks
- Increased regulation and restricted the growth of companies with large debt levels until they pay off debt
- China has 1 Year Lending Rate of 4.35%.
- Indian government has decided to tax all the Long Term Gains (>1 year) from February 1, 2018.
- After announcing the LTCG tax, Indian market fell by almost 9% in the month of February alone.
- YTD, Indian markets have returned -0.70%
- Real GDP for 2017 is at 7.10 and the unemployment rate for 2017 is at 8.8
- 12 months T-Bill have an yield of 6.63%
- 10 Year government yield is at 7.74%
- Still remain emerging markets and more dependent on oil/commodity prices/currencies than others
- Politics of greater concern but have participated in market rebound with rest of EM
- European Central Bank (ECB) is taking similar measures to Fed because the economic situation is global.
- The ECB is dovish, and has been in Quantitative Easing (QE) since the financial crisis through buying bonds and lowering borrowing rates
- It is slowly putting the brakes on QE by cutting it’s bond purchasing amount each month, but extend its QE program duration
- GDP (yoy) for European union is at 2.7% while the unemployment rate is at 7.73% (as of 12/31/2017)
- Britain has a lot more complexities and politics involved, making it harder to follow but rates remain very low
- Brexit details still up in air, seems like 2019 will be the year