This week was supposed to be dominated by central banks’ decisions, earnings, and economic data from across the globe, but with Donald Trump in office, nothing seems capable of taking the spotlight from the White House.
U.S. stocks suffered their steepest declines so far this year with Dow Jones and S&P 500 both declining 0.6% on Tuesday. Meanwhile operating Asian markets are all in red led by Japanese stocks despite the BoJ upgrading growth estimates for the next two years and as expected keeping monetary policy unchanged.
Trump’s latest executive order, signed on Friday banning Syrian refugees and suspending all nationals from seven countries, doesn’t by itself cause a major risk to financial markets. He already warned to ban Muslims, build a wall, cancel Obamacare and tear up trade agreements. The President is just literally implementing his agenda and if we were not taking him seriously then it’s our fault.
Whether you like Trump or dislike him, as an investor you seek opportunities, and markets were rallying on the President’s commitments to reduce taxes, deregulate businesses, and repatriate global assets. If these policies are at risk, this is when you should get worried.
Many Democrats intensified their attacks on Trump, meanwhile some Republicans are criticising the immigration order, and the firing of the acting attorney-general Sally Yates for opposing his travel ban is pouring fuel to the fire. The major risk looming now is the breakup of the Republican coalition, although this doesn’t seem to be the case for the time being. I believe it’s going to be the biggest risk to financial markets in the near future, as we end up with protectionist policies without the implementation of fiscal policies, thus triggering a sharp reversal in stocks worldwide.