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Cool Video: Dollar, Trade, and China on TDA Network

Cool Video: Dollar, Trade, and China on TDA NetworkI began my career as a reporter on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, covering the currency futures and short-term interest rate futures for a news wire. Among other things, I learned that often, the locals, people trading with their own money and wits, would take the opposite side of trades of the institutional players. The institutional operators had deeper pockets but were looking to lay-off risk. It was a David vs. Goliath story often. It is, therefore, a special pleasure to talk with Ben Lichtenstein as he and his team help prepare the futures traders for the new session.

We cover several significant issues in this 7.5-minute clip (here). I try to make four points. First, that the consolidative/corrective phase in the capital markets that began shortly after the May jobs data in early June appears over. The dollar fell through the month-long uptrends against several currencies last week. The fact that the dollar fell in the face of the third week the Fed’s balance sheet has shrunk, an uptick in the Fed funds rate and new record lows in Europe’s overnight unsecured interest rate struck me as a reflection of the creeping bearish dollar sentiment.

Second, there is a fiscal cliff approaching as the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is set to end in a few weeks, and then the $600 extra unemployment insurance is terminated, as the way it stands now, at the end of the month.

Third, and turning to international events, I noted that the UK-EU trade talks that were to be accelerated this month ended early last week as the two sides continue to have fundamental disagreements. I remain skeptical that a new trade agreement will be struck, and this will increase the uncertainty and likely disruption late this year and the first part of next year.

Fourth, Chinese and Hong Kong stocks have rallied, and it is also related to the Cold War that I think continues to unfold between the two largest economies. Many Chinese companies cannot be secure with their US listing, and HK has seen a flurry of IPOs, which mainland investors are buying. This supports the Hong Kong dollar and Hong Kong shares even though arrests have begun under the new security law. Many in the US complain that the Fed’s actions encroach on the private sector and distort the price discovery process. It is much worse in China, where the stock market has traditionally been dominated by retail investors, who have been encouraged to buy papers that are understood to be official.

Full story here
Marc Chandler
He has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for more than 30 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. After 14 years as the global head of currency strategy for Brown Brothers Harriman, Chandler joined Bannockburn Global Forex, as a managing partner and chief markets strategist as of October 1, 2018.
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