Tony Nash, CEO and founder of Complete Intelligence, is a guest on Asia First of Channel News Asia and was asked if COVID19 (coronavirus) will stop the US bull market run, the why’s of the way market is moving, mandatory policies, and what investors should do. Below are the show notes:
Is coronavirus the straw that’s going to break the camel’s back of the US bull market run?
I don’t think so. I think what we’re seeing is a view that it’s good to be paranoid/worried. We need to remember that the markets here is in a pretty euphoric state, and had a rapid acceleration since then. A lot of markets are looking for a reason to be more defensive, some see that the market is a little overvalued.
Why are markets moving the way they are — they’re important parts of the value chain but they’re not China?
In the US, we have business optimism, consumer optimism at high numbers. There is a lot of positive momentum here. COVID19 is a catalyst to bring for a lot of people at getting defensive. But the fatality rate is very small. 66% of China’s manufacturing capacity is back on. It seems China made a decision to make them working and spending again.
How about mandatory policies? What are the odds that the Fed will cut given the possible impact of Coronavirus on the economy?
I don’t think the Fed will cut, and they will wait to see how and if it gets bad. We have a really strong dollar now. And if other countries become more aggressive without the US being aggressive, the depreciation of their currencies become problematic for their debt market and their trade balance. We need to be careful about the central banks in emerging markets becoming more aggressive in supporting their economies. It’s very complex math from here on out.
Are you seeing Beijing not letting certain companies fail?
They are in a position where they can. China has put these measures in place. I don’t think anybody blamed China for the measures they’re taking to get their economy back on track. It’s other countries where there is a lower incidence of the virus, where people become more skeptical, from a central banking perspective.
What is the portfolio re-alignment that you are suggesting?
It looks like people are getting defensive. This isn’t at all surprising. People are waiting for a couple of weeks.
It seems that the broad market in the West is becoming aware of the risk of COVID 19, which is good for the robustness of markets in the medium term. As these investors get accustomed to COVID19, they will factor that into their risks. But right now, it seems to be a shocking risk and so short term we should just expect more volatility.