(Note that these are solely the views & opinions of KVP, & do not constitute any trade or investment recommendations.)
Macro Dragon: China Coronavirus, BoJ, US/EU Tech Tues, US Back in
Today see’s the US back in…
So US back in today after MLK mon, which may bring some more leadership for the equity bulls – Europe was down across the board yest, with the key divergence to the upside being the DAX +0.17% 13548.
Remember the key near-term market risk highlighted yest that could reverse the DAX & further damped European equities. If we get a US/EU fallout (Trump vs. Macron), then we could have a brand new trade war. And yes, it would be classic Trump
scrapbook playbook (if there is such a thing) – put out the window dressing exercise fire with China (for now), then immediately start a new one up with the EU (threaten their dax autos)
…While we have the coronavirus heading into Chinese New Year…
If a virus could pick an opportune time to hit the China, then there really is no better time for potential spreading than during the Chinese lunar new year, which marks the biggest annual human migration in the world. According to Bloomberg up to 3bn trips (railways, airlines, cars, boats, etc) will be done over this period. The new coronavirus is similar to the SARS virus which killed 800 people 17hrs back – whilst that is not large on the greater scale of the population of HK (where it broke out), it caused massive hysteria & panic during a small period, where people were literally giving away their homes for peanuts.
Whilst the situation is dynamic & fluid - So far its reported that over 200 people are ill, with Wuhan (city of 11m) looking like location-zero. So far there have only been 3 confirmed fatalities linked to the virus, which – early days – potentially suggests a lower mortality rate than say MERs which kills up to 1/3 of those it infects. SARS on the other hand, had a fatality rate closer to 10%.
There have also been at least 4 confirmed cases of people who have left China (2 in Thailand, 1 in Japan & at least one in South Korea) that are infected with the corona virus. That number itself, suggests that statistically there should be a lot more ill people on the ground.
China has stepped up its speed in disclosure & transparency compared to previous outbreaks which is a huge positive for everyone. Obviously potential outbreaks are a fine line for any government – your priority is to contain, as well as educate the public, yet the last thing you want to do is induce a panic (i.e. some of the misinformation & lack of education in Ebola cases in Africa were just downright diabolical).
There is no doubt that eventually the virus will be contained – its just a question of when & does it scale in magnitude. Hard to see a case where this becomes super negative for CH (& proxy HK) equities, unless it somehow induces local panic selling – yet things would have to get dramatically worse for such a scenario. It would then be retail, travel & leisure stocks being hit, whilst biotech, healthcare plus defensive names would get bid. Still we got a taste of that overnight, with some CH drug makers having limit up days while Macau names & airlines had a tough session – obviously when the virus gets nipped in the bud, these moves should potentially mean-revert.
The WHO is conducting an emergency meeting
not immediately on Wed Jan 23 in Geneva, which could determine whether this gets raised to international status concern. Which to KVP is the paragon of incompetence & disconnected elitism in regard to procedures: any outbreak, anywhere in the world where the virus is jumping from human to human is of international concern.
One great thing about Asia – for those who have not traveled – is most airports have standard checkups for flus & sickness through temperature cams & officials monitoring travelers from potential high risk destinations. Talk about a role with a negative skew, if your successful in your job there is a chance you may catch something (like being a water digger - assuming you get paid per hour).
End of the day, this is one to keep watching. And its worth noting that they have cured over 25 people who have caught the virus so far.
The BoJ later today…
- The BoJ should be a wash, hard for KVP seeing any stimulus with DollarYen well north of 100 & it is almost inconceivable to see a move higher in rates given the outright level of debt in the system
Have a great wk everyone, good luck out there & don’t forget to keep your mind open to opportunities. For those travelling over Chinese New Year’s; Godspeed, smooth travels & have a well deserved break with loved ones. The year of the metal rat is going to be phenomenal!
On The Radar Today: (Times would be SGT)
- JP: BoJ Rate Decision Meeting
- EZ: ZEW economic sentiment
Some Anchor Pieces from #SaxoStrats: