We expect the economic backdrop for Asian credits to remain constructive in 2018, but remain cognizant of several risks including rising interest rates, robust supply, unexpected weakness in China, geopolitical developments and cross-asset volatility.
The global recovery is expected to continue, albeit at a more moderate pace. Meanwhile, we foresee policy normalisation and an acceleration of inflation in Asia.
China has not yet been fully incorporated into indices, creating a mismatch and a unique challenge to investors in navigating this new world order.
Despite geopolitical risks and central banks that will be less dovish than the market expects, the Global Investment Committee forecasts that the G-3 economies will grow faster than consensus and that global equity markets will remain very bullish in the intermediate term.
Low global inflation and, until recently, a strong Kiwi dollar have kept New Zealand’s inflation rate low over many years, however things may be about to change.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index returned 38.0% in USD terms year-to-date, on the back of a broad-based economic recovery. The Index outperformed the MSCI World Index, which rose 20.8% in USD terms in the same period.
US Treasury (UST) yields declined during the month. The nomination of Jerome Powell as the next US Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman overshadowed stronger US economic data, but was subsequently offset by increased geopolitical risks in the Middle East and a setback to US tax reform.
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index returned 0.6% in USD terms in November. The index approached ten-year highs during the month on expectations of continuity in US Federal Reserve policy and robust economic data, but gains were pared at month-end by a sell-off in technology heavyweights.
The imminent party election will be crucial in determining this major Emerging Market’s future.
Having recently returned from the US, Stefan Hansen, Senior Research Analyst at Nikko AM Australia, shares his thoughts on US shale oil production and the potential impact on the oil price.