In this BFM The Morning Run episode, Tony Nash explains what’s happening in the US markets, particularly the tail end of the bull run. Will value stocks improve now as compared to the growth stocks? How about stay-at-home stocks VS cyclicals? Also discussed are currencies, USD against the Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan, and the labor market.
This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/could-this-be-the-tail-end-of-the-bull-run on April 1, 2021.
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WSN: Good morning, Tony. Now, is it likely that the U.S. indices will run out of steam for the moment? I mean, pausing to take stock of the earnings, are equity markets gravitating to what’s stay at home stocks or cyclicals?
TN: The problem with where we are now is that all value was stretched. Monetary policy and stimulus have really pushed money into equity markets as the remaining stimulus checks are distributed, meaning a lot of those stimulus checks are in the mail right now in the post going to homes in the US. So there’s a lot of investment expected and pushing against maybe the downdraft in equity markets. So I don’t think it’s really a question of stay at home versus cyclicals. It’s really a question of where is that value?
I don’t think it’s a sector question. It’s really an individual stock picking question. And that’s the problem. It’s not a sector market. It’s not a market wide phenomenon. We really have to understand where there is value because we’re in the very tail end of a bull market.
PS: Previously, it was the long and now five year Treasury treasuries are inching up. What impact will an upward shift of the whole yield curve have on equities?
TN: I think we’re seeing equities try to climb higher, but we’re not quite getting. The five year is up over five percent today on an incremental basis was up five point six percent. The 10 year is up two point three percent today. So, you know, there are a lot of risks out there. Ongoing Covid risk. France just closed down again today. There are geopolitical risks with the US and China and other geopolitical risks, of course, Syria and so on.
Iran, business supply chain risks. So, you know, with yields rising and the pressure on equity markets to rise as well, we believe that there’s going to come a point where equity markets break and we’re going to start to see see a decline in equity markets. So yields will rise in the U.S. and equity markets will inevitably decline, and that will likely bring some other global markets with it.
WSN: OK, Tony, let’s shift the conversation to currencies, because the U.S. dollar has really made some strident gains against both the Chinese yen and the Japanese yen. I just want to know, why are these two currencies taking such a beating in particular?
TN: Well, both currencies strengthened quite a bit in Q3 of twenty twenty and stayed strong until recently. CNY had been below seven and a bit well actually just above seven and it climbed to almost six point four versus the US dollar. So there’s been a lot of strength in both, as you say, Chinese and Japanese currencies. What’s happened while we’ve had those depreciated currencies is an accumulation of inventories of commodities like industrial metals. We’ve seen the copper price rise dramatically, for example.
And so as we see treasuries rise in the US, and that brings dollar strength, we’re seeing those manufacturers and those guys who’ve been building their commodity inventories in East Asia really slow down on those purchases and their future commitments. So we’ll likely see a lot of those currencies stabilize and weaken a bit more we don’t expect. A dramatic weakening from here, we don’t expect the US dollar to appreciate dramatically more, say, for the next few months. So we’re kind of in a range, we believe, for both.
We do see the CNY, for example, devaluing to say six point six to six point seven. And then, you know, we’ll kind of stabilize in that range unless there’s a dramatic impact.
PS: So a correction is in inventory levels readjust. Can I just shift your attention to oil? Because oil prices are at levels near the break even point for US shale producers. Are you expecting to see a resumption of shale activity this year?
TN: Well, yeah, we you know, living in Texas, we see a lot of shale activity here. So we do expect it to start slowly. But that business runs in a way where if we’re chasing price, more of those shale firms will come online pretty quickly, actually. So, you know, with the ability for shale to turn off and turn on so quickly, we believe that the prices will be range bound if there’s upward price pressure, you know, all things held equal.
If there’s you know, if there isn’t a major geopolitical issue in the Middle East or isn’t a major geopolitical issue in Asia or something, we think that will be fairly wrage range bound as those as those guys come back online. The shale producers.
WSN: Meanwhile, Tony, U.S. numbers, job numbers excuse me, are out on Friday. Are they expected to show a robust recovery in labor markets, in your opinion? Like what sectors grew the fastest in terms of employment?
TN: Well, you know, we’re starting to see quite a lot more capacity in airlines, although we don’t expect a lot of hiring there. The services around, say, travel and hospitality, they were devastated in twenty twenty. And we expect some of those jobs to come back online. We expect to see some restaurant jobs, some of those services jobs to come back online. That’s where we typically see these things come back first, relatively kind of lower wage, but more flexible workforces.
And so we’ll see activity there first. Tourism in the US obviously still isn’t up to what it was, but we have started to see some impact back in tourism. So I would expect to see some some interesting numbers there.
WSN: OK, thank you for your time. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, sadly reminding us that this is maybe the tail end of the bull run that we had been enjoying.
It was a very short one, is that it honestly, in March 2020 when markets collapsed and then because of the concerted, synchronized monetary policies that we saw around the world, central banks really pushing rates to ultra low equity markets rallied and rallied till now.
So he thinks we’re in the tail end and we should stop beginning to look at value stocks as opposed to growth stocks.
PS: And I think specific sector specific stocks, in fact, actually.
PS: It’s kind of very good.
Go for the jugular on specific things.
WSN: Yeah. I think you really do need to take a very bottom up approach as opposed from the top down approach. If you’re talking about the tail end of a bull cycle, what is also worrying is that he does say that with increasing yields in the U.S. and even on the shotted to bonds, which is the five year bonds, lightly equity markets, those are going to face another round of correction. And it’s not just going to be the U.S. it’s going to be other global markets as a result, because let’s face it, we take the cue from the U.S., right?
WSN: If there is a shock there, there’s a shock around the world.
But what does it mean for Malaysia markets? Because yesterday we had a really terrible, terrible day.
And when I look at Bloomberg now and I’m trying to understand what caused the decline, it was really very much glove driven. Topcliffe hoteling, super Max, all coming under selling pressure as a result, took the index along with it, saying it was also the case for the telco sector. Zaatar was also down. Maxi’s was also down. There was actually no stock among the IBM, Kilsyth, the three component stocks, none were in the green. So clearly bad day.
We were down two point to two percent. And on original, on a year to day basis, we are actually down more than three percent.
PS: It’s incredible. I think also the conversation about currency is going to play. So we were talking to Tony about Japan and China. You heard and we saw disconsolately in Turkish I now emerging market currencies are going to all kind of a fall out in the short term.
WSN: Is there going to be a question of, you know, shift from emerging markets into developed markets? That’s the big question. But in about a few minutes, in light of April Fool’s Day, we’ll be speaking to resolve. Then Gizzle, comedian and the co-founder of Crack House Comedy Club. Stay tuned for that BFM eighty nine point nine.