Rotating Permanently into Cyclicals
In this Morning Run BFM episode, Tony Nash shares his views where equities are heading now that the 2020 Election has concluded. Will the new administration reverse China policies by Trump? Also, what is the implication to the world exports with a weaker USD and stronger CNY? Lastly on oil: what is its future? Will the rally continue? Does it have enough support?
This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/rotating-permanently-into-cyclicals on January 7, 2021.
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With a blue wave in Georgia, what does this mean for the US economy and equity market? Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, tells us that the rotational play is now here to stay while giving us his view on oil prices.
Produced by: Mike Gong
Presented by: Lyn Mak, Wong Shou Ning
WSN: Joining us on the line for his take on where markets are headed is Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Equity and currency markets were waiting for the Georgia election results, which have just come out. Given that outcome, where the Democrats have won, where do you see U.S. equities heading?
TN: We don’t see major upside for U.S. equities without significant short-term intervention by the Fed or by some stimulus or infrastructure package. Given where Congress is, I’m not sure that there would be the ability to get much through Congress so it would have to come from the Fed. It’s possible, but we see more the hard assets like gold and commodities. And then you see crypto currencies rising pretty fast as well. But the risk really with equities is to the downside more than to the upside.
WSN: But if we just look at last night’s flows, there was some rotation into cyclicals like banks and small caps with less fund flow into big tech, perhaps over concerns of increased litigation action against them. Do you think this will change into a more long-term kind of rotation?
TN: We’ve expected that for some time. That rotation is long overdue. But the Fed have enabled tech and crypto to have a longer run. That rotation has been put off a bit. So if now is the time, great. We would definitely welcome it. We’re just overexposed in certain sectors.
WSN: And meanwhile, last night, US 10-year treasuries top two percent. What does that tell us?
TN: The U.S. is having a harder time raising money? They need to pay a little bit more to get money. I don’t necessarily think it’s a harbinger of inflation. Although it’s possible with a weaker dollar. I would say higher import prices. Chinese yuan on the run, strengthening. You may have higher import prices, but people have been warning about inflation for years now and we just have not seen it register. I think it just means that that the U.S. Treasury has to pay more to raise money.
WSN: And with Biden coming in on January 20th as the next US president, I would like to see a reversal of Trump’s more adversarial policies with China?
TN: Biden will be very accommodating to China. I think you’ll see different parts of the House and the Senate not be happy about it. But he’ll be absolutely extremely accommodating. More accommodating than Obama was.
WSN: What impact do you think that might have on the U.S. economy? Because in the past there was some shift into more U.S. based manufacturing. Will that then reverse?
TN: With the USMCA, the NAFTA number two agreement, I think there’s more incentive for companies to have facilities in the NAFTA zone. China obviously is more expensive and with an appreciating CNY, that makes it more difficult to invest while you get less for your money in China. China is becoming an increasingly hard sell. That has been the case since 2017, 2018. It’s not going to turn back. Until there is a reciprocal and enforceable investment agreement in place with China, I think China is where it is. I don’t think you would see a mad rush of direct investment going to China.
WSN: What are your views in terms of where the U.S. dollar is hitting? Because you just mentioned that the Yen is likely to appreciate?
TN: It already has. The Chinese officials are becoming a little bit nervous about how strong CNY has become because it’ll put a real damper on their their ability to export. You have the Euro versus CNY weakening. You have the Dollar versus CNY weakening. It’s coming to a point where it could be somewhat problematic for China. So they will push to weaken their currency, maybe not immediately, but say in first quarter. As you see more stability, post Brexit with the new normal Europe. As you see more stability in the US with the new administration, I think you’ll see a bit of relative strengthening of those two currencies versus CNY.
WSN: And shifting our attention to one of the commodities: oil. Yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s cutting oil output while Russia is increasing theirs. What’s the rationale for this? And OPEC members then divide it on production quotas?
TN: OPEC members may verbally agree to things. Whether or not they comply with that has been a burden for OPEC for decades. So what they all want is more volume export and the prices is the real issue.
So I think there’s an intention to present mixed messages so that there’s uncertainty in the market so that we see Brent price that’s sustainably above 50 dollars. That is is good for OPEC. That’s good for some of the producers like Malaysia and Texas where I live. I think consumers, we don’t necessarily to expect to see a sustainably strong oil price because we don’t necessarily expect to see a dramatic recovery in 2021. But we don’t expect to see a dramatic recovery that would spike oil prices up to 70, 80 dollars.
WSN: Do you expect oil prices to be where it is, which is currently around 50 U.S. dollars per barrel for WTI?
TN: For six plus months, we’ve expected a spike in January. And we’ve been telling people since July, August that we would see a spike in oil prices in January. And this is exactly what our artificial intelligence platform has told us for quite a long time. So we’re seeing what we’ve expected. We’ve also expected a fall going into February. Like I said, this is great. This is very much in line with what we thought would happen. But we expect there to be some downside to this and downward pressure within the next 30 to 60 days.
WSN: All right. Thank you for your time. That was Tony Nesh, CEO of Complete Intelligence, giving us his views on where markets are heading. And it seems like it’s not surprising that there’s a bit of a market correction or at least a market rotational flow out of tech, which valuations have kind of hit all time high and some rotation into the cyclicals like banks and small caps. But I think his views on oil are pretty interesting that it’s you know, we are going to see maybe a bit of downside from here.
What will he take? Reasoning?
LM: I think his comments about particularly what we can expect out of a Biden administration were quite interesting because commentators now kind of are kind of split over how they believe Joe Biden will kind of stack up compared to Barack Obama once he is inaugurated as president of the U.S. And the idea of Joe Biden being more accommodating than Obama, particularly with Trump also still continuing his crackdowns on China. It’s almost enough to give you whiplash, isn’t it? Because once January 20 is rolls around, how much of Trump’s measures will be rolled back?
I mean, only recently he’s just signed an executive order as well, banning several Chinese payment apps over security concerns. So this affects eight payment apps and it’s supposed to take an IT take effect in 45 days after Trump has left office.
WSN: Yeah, and what’s interesting is these eight p.m. apps are very well known to include the likes of ADP, Tencent, Cucu and even WeChat P now in the executive order, said that these apps captures swaths of information, including sensitive, personally identifiable information and private information. Now, how much of this an impact will have is unclear, since it’s understood that the usage of these apps outside of China remains limited. For example, the ALP has roughly one billion users, but they are mostly in China.
However, it does have deals with merchants in the U.S. such as Walgreens, and claims to work with more than two hundred and fifty overseas partners. Now, separately, the New York Stock Exchange has made another U-turn on its earlier U-turn to delist three Chinese telecom companies, which be. Going round and round and round, yeah, it’s like a mini roundabout now, so and these three companies are China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.
LM: So the NYSE first announced that it would delist the companies on New Year’s Eve before changing course four days later. And the delisting complies with Trump’s executive order banning investment in Chinese companies with purported ties to the military. So the exchange said its latest decision is based on new specific guidance received on Tuesday provided by the Treasury Department. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly called the NYSE president, Stacie Cunningham, to voice his displeasure with the decision to allow these three companies to remain on the big board.
WSN: Well, I think this story will just get the plot will get thicker and thicker, and whether the roundabout will get bigger and bigger, we’ll just have to find out. But up next, we ask the question, what can you do to attract more foreign direct investment for us? Ross, the senior economist with Mark, will be joining us for that discussion. Stay tuned for that BFM eighty nine point nine.