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MARKET RECAP
Get a head start on tomorrow's headlines. Succinct market analysis, updated frequently, reviewing the factors most responsible for changes in valuation, trends and sentiment, with highlights to the major themes driving market forces.

THE MORNING TRACK – OLD RULES

Month end cash squeezes are in play in Japan and China and they, maybe along with the rising growth stories in Europe - as evident from better PMI flash reports - pointing the short-term direction of the USD regardless of any US House vote on healthcare reform. Then again, we are in the midst of a larger theme of “normalization” for monetary policy where rates begin to matter again as inflation fear outstrips deflation. The balance of debt to growth begins to play a significant role again with leverage back in play and with central bankers looking confused as to how to disentangle from being real lenders rather than care-takers of the banks. The ECB and BOJ are on the front lines with their extraordinary policy at odds with FOMC rate hikes – but everyone is still far from “normal” easily defined as real rates being flat rather than negative. So the old rules about growth, business cycle stages and monetary policy differences measured by real rates all seem to be ready to return to modeling the next set of market moves with politics seen as the exciting noise maker in an otherwise rather glum party of economists and technocrats leading developing nations. The excitement today maybe in the flows in emerging markets with the central bank of Russia cutting its key rate 25bps to 9.75% with an economic revival and lower inflation allowing for some upbeat outlooks for investors. All told the focus beyond politics is on carry and how to survive in markets that wait for bigger things to happen – and that puts the race of the low yielders into focus with EUR/JPY the best guide to risk appetite for stocks, bonds and EM. EUR/JPY needs to close over 120 to be safe.

THOUGHT PIECE
Track.com offers a virtual research team to the sophisticated investor. This in-depth research presents strategic perspectives about, and derives long-term implications from, economic events, asset class trends, and specific financial market valuations.

CAN A MULTI-SPEED EUROPEAN UNION EVOLVE?

An EC white paper on the future of Europe was released at the beginning of the month. A multi-speed approach to EU integration is now considered realistic. Will a “leaders and laggards” approach to further integration work? Will progress on integration enable the ECB to finally taper its QE?

OBSERVATIONS
Markets shift. This is where Track.com analyzes those shifts. These pieces focus on the reactions to particular market sector events, and the issues and data that may cause adverse or unexpected market movements.

TRUMP AS MEPHISTOPHELES

This Thursday, March 23 vote by the House on ACA reform brings to the front the growing doubts about the Trump Presidency – news reports suggest this will be a nail-biter vote despite the fact that Republicans control both the House and the Senate. The sharp divide in US politics has been an issue for US markets since January 20th and the inauguration of the 45th President. The opposition has cast the new President as the devil himself, as bully, as a purveyor of evil and as a psychologically troubled leader. His followers see him as the last great hope for economic and geopolitical change, lifting the silent working class out of their economic malaise, restarting the engines of American business at the expense of the rest of the world. Trump’s shift in policy from globalization to unilateralism has shaken the world and called into question what set of principles govern his Administration and his vision of the Republican Party. This isn’t just a US story, its changing the order of things and faith across the world. The G20 Finance Ministers reveal the extent of this change as they drop their devout opposition to protection and for climate change actions from their communiqué on March 18 mostly because the US no longer believes in it. Note that de-globalization, more protectionism, was well underway before Trump was elected with many pointing to 2008 as the turning point for the change.

TRADE IDEAS
Our tactical and (mostly) short-term analysis offers potential trading opportunities in fixed income, foreign exchange, commodity, equity and other asset classes. Technical and fundamental analysis is applied for risk positioning. Track.com monitors the success of all recommendations.

TRACK FEBRUARY IDEA DINNER – MARDI GRAS OR LENT?

The February Track Research Idea Dinner came at the end of the month and on Mardi Gras. This brought together a great group of fund managers, investors and analysts to discuss macro-markets. The mood for the dinner wasn’t quite the same as that in the French Quarter of New Orleans let alone like that of Rio. The focus was on whether the party would end early – with the Fed again threatening to take away the punch bowl with a March 15 hike all but promised. The central question is when Fed hikes would matter and what that meant for markets not just in the US but in the world. There were, of course, a series of other themes but most linked back to the FOMC. The short list of concerns: Trump and his policy, World Growth, European political risks and the ECB, Brexit and the BOE, China and the CNY, Oil and Inflation. While some in the room looked more ready for Lent than a party, no one suggested fading the risk-rally in equities. Rather the consensus was about fixed income and inflation fears becoming a reality.

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MARKET RECAP

Get a head start on tomorrow's headlines. Succinct market analysis, updated frequently, reviewing the factors most responsible for changes in valuation, trends and sentiment, with highlights to the major themes driving market forces.

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