Complete Intelligence


Is The Rally Ending?

Tony Nash joins BFM 89.9 The Business Station for another look at the global markets and to get a sense of whether this is the end of the bull run. Also discussed how September is expected to be a volatile month. Will there be a fiscal stimulus for small businesses? Will banks and other financial institution get the next round of stimulus? And how about the oil prices — where is it going?


This podcast first appeared and originally published at on September 24, 2020.

BFM Description


Speculation is rife over whether US lawmakers will be able to come to agreement over a new stimulus package, as deadlines loom. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also warned that more stimulus will be needed, and all the uncertainty took its toll on US equities overnight. To get a sense of whether this is the end of the bull run, we speak to Tony Nash, Chief Economist and CEO of Complete Intelligence.


Produced by: Mike Gong


Presented by: Roshan Kanesan, Lyn Mak, Noelle Lim


Show Notes


LM: BFM eighty nine point nine. You’re listening to the morning run with Lyn Mak, Roshan Kanesan and Noel Lim, 707 a.m. Thursday, the 24th of September. And in round about 15 minutes, we’re speaking with Paul McManis, chief enterprise business officer at Maxus, to discuss how companies can best adapt to a post covid-19 business environment. But before that, we’re taking a look at the markets.


RK: Well, the markets were in the red, actually. The Dow was down two percent. The S&P 500 was down two point four percent, and the Nasdaq was down two point seven percent. How did Asia do?


NL: Well, Nikkei index down point zero six percent. The Shanghai Composite was up 22 percent. Hang Seng marginally point one percent of the Cosby eight point zero three percent stay up point seven percent. The FBI. CIA, however, was down one point six percent. And I guess that’s on the back of some very important news at 12:00 p.m. yesterday.


RK: Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how all these markets open today on the back of the US market closing.


LM: Absolutely. So for more on international markets this morning, we have Tony Nash’s chief economist and CEO of Complete Intelligence on the line with us this morning. Tony, thank you for joining us. Now, U.S. equities retreated sharply last night as Jerome Powell warned that more stimulus is needed. While it seems more likely that lawmakers will be able to agree to this. Is this the end of the rally and perhaps the reality check that market’s needs?


TN: Well, I don’t know if it’s the end of the rally, but I know we had a conversation on August twenty sixth. I think it was when I caution you guys that September would be a really rough month and very volatile. And I think we’re certainly in the middle of that. So how much further will it go? We think it has a little ways to go, but so we don’t necessarily think there’s a huge rally coming. But the caveat to that is stimulus.


So if stimulus comes out this week from the U.S. Congress, which there has been a bill going through and there may be some reconciliation in in some of the committees to get some stimulus out, that could help. But I think the Fed I think what what the Fed has said is, you know, they’re out there doing their work. They’re getting loans out to larger companies. But really, fiscal stimulus has to take place for smaller companies until we have that.


I think markets are pretty upset.


RK: And if we take a look, sorry, OK. And as we take a look at some of the banks like HSBC and others, they’ve taken a bit of a beating from the Vincent report. Will this have a an impact on the rotation of play into the finance sector, do you think?


TN: I think it will certainly for those banks that have had issues around laundering money and other things, allegedly. Yeah, I think it’s a big problem because investors don’t want to invest in risk. There’s enough risk in their daily life. But for those banks who aren’t flagged, I think there’s a real opportunity for them. Unfortunately, the sector itself is having difficulties today. But you did see some movement in things like insurance and other things where you do see money moving in and looking at oil prices rising.


NL: U.S. oil inventories are keeping oil prices fairly subdued. Where do you see oil prices heading in the short term?


TN: We don’t see a lot of movement. You know, we see WTI in the high 30s, low 40s. We see Brent around the mid 40s. The problem is we just haven’t had that consumption rebound that’s needed to drive oil prices higher. There is a lot of discussion about a supply side issue going into the first half of next year that might push prices higher. I’m not entirely sure that that may happen. But even when we look at things like petrol prices, they’re probably 30 percent off of where they were a year ago.


And we really don’t expect that to change for six to 12 months.


LM: Thank you very much for speaking with us this morning, Tony. That was Tony Nash, chief economist and CEO of Complete Intelligence

News Articles

China’s jump in exports soothes growth fears, boosts markets

This article is originally published at

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports in March returned to growth for the first time in nine months, adding to further signs of stabilisation in the world’s second-largest economy that cheered regional investors.


March exports rose a blistering 11.5 percent from a year earlier, the first increase since June and the largest percentage rise since February 2015.


Fears of a hard landing in China even as policymakers press on with tough reforms to rebalance the economy have rattled financial markets, with investors eagerly hunting for tentative signs the economic slump may be bottoming.


Economists, however, warned that Wednesday’s data was not evidence of stronger global demand as it was heavily skewed by base effects and seasonal distortions from the Lunar New Year.


And despite signs of green shoots for China, first quarter GDP data on Friday is expected to show the economy growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis. Combined with tepid inflation, that is likely to keep Chinese monetary policy loose for some time yet.


Investors celebrated, nevertheless, with key Chinese stock indexes hitting three-month highs and the yuan firming, while regional stock markets and the Australian dollar AUD=, which often trades as a proxy to Chinese growth, also firmed.


“China’s foreign trade sector will likely improve from last year due to low comparables, but the improvement will not be dramatic, as the trends in external markets are not great,” said Wang Tie Shi, economist with Industrial Securities.


The upside surprise comes after other March economic indicators hinted of slight improvements in the broader economy, although other surveys have shown intensifying downward pressure on wages and employment.


Imports continued to fall but less than expected, declining by 7.6 percent in dollar denominated terms and volumes of most major commodities, notably copper and iron ore, rose strongly.


That left the country with a trade surplus of $29.86 billion for the month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, versus a forecast of $30.85 billion.


“I think we should focus on the better-than-expected imports growth rate, which means domestic demand is also recovering, driven by infrastructure investment and also the real estate sector recovery,” said Ma Xiaoping, analyst at HSBC.



China’s slowdown might not be quite as severe as first feared but its “momentous” shift from investment-led growth is still having a chilling effect on trade globally, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.


The IMF estimates every 1 percentage point investment-driven drop in China’s GDP, cut growth for the entire Group of 20 nations by 0.25 percentage points.


“Even countries that have few direct trade linkages with China are being affected through the Chinese slowdown’s impact on prices of commodities and manufactured goods, and on global confidence and risk sentiment,” the Fund said.


Regardless, overseas investors also appeared inspired by the trade data. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS added 1.7 percent and Japanese shares .N225 gained 2.8 percent.


Tony Nash, managing partner at advisory firm Complete Intelligence, which focuses on global trade flows, sees China’s exports and imports stabilising over the next six months.


“As we close out Q2 and enter Q3, we’ll see more stable trade data before starting to see sustainable, small rises in both sides,” Nash said, adding data should be much less volatile in the second half as currencies and commodities stabilise.



Economists polled by Reuters had expected March exports to rise 2.5 percent, after tumbling 25.4 percent in February – the worst showing since May 2009, and expected imports to fall 10.2 percent, based on weakness in global demand.


“Data across other Asian economies suggest that the headwinds in the trade sector remain,” Zhou Hao, economist at Commerzbank in Singapore, said in a research note.


Still, markets were relieved to see a surge in China’s demand for commodities, with copper arrivals hitting a record in March and pushing up first quarter imports by 30 percent from a year earlier. Exports to key markets such as the United States and Europe also posted double digit month-on-month gains.


China’s rising exports are also due in some part to a successful move up the value chain by mid-tier manufacturers.


“China’s export sector is not losing competitiveness. In fact, China is increasing its share of other countries’ imports, even though the global volume of trade has been sadly stagnant in recent years,” HSBC wrote in a research note.


Even as Chinese factories have learned to build more expensive car components and wind turbines, they have been shedding capacity in lower-end sectors like textiles and outsourcing such production to neighboring countries.


Premier Li Keqiang said last week that China’s economic indicators showed signs of improvement in the first quarter but a sluggish world economy and volatile markets were undermining gains.


The government is aiming for economic growth of 6.5 to 7 percent this year, following 6.9 percent growth last year – the weakest pace in a quarter of a century.