Closely weighing the back and forth commentary while considering coming events, the messaging I gather directly from China’s state media to the people, as well as the somewhat rooted political positioning (both sides) to this point, I think macro strategist’s Cameron Crise’s take this morning is a sound one:
- …it’s probably best to think of the trade war as taking a vacation rather than departing altogether. After all, there’s an FOMC announcement on September 18 and while another rate cut is pretty much a given at this point, the case for doing 50 bps is basically nonexistent. Given the evidence of the past few months, this in turn raises the risk of another pique-filled Trump reaction to turn up the trade war heat yet again. Caveat emptor!
- What about China’s perspective? Well, we know that the authorities generally prefer stable economic and market conditions before significant political events. The apparent tariff olive branch makes some sense in this context given the announcement that Xi Jinping will give a keynote speech on October 1st to market the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic.
- The event will also include a grand parade featuring cutting edge military hardware. I might not have an advanced degree in international relations, but that doesn’t strike me as the sort of backdrop that will coincide with China caving in to American demands on trade or willingly suffering a loss of face. Indeed, the symbolism couldn’t be more obvious.
- When the cat’s away, the mice will play. That old saying seems to be an appropriate summary of the state of play in global markets at the moment. Enjoy your respite from the trade war, but it probably won’t pay to get too comfortable. The dispute isn’t dead, or even mostly dead — it’s just taking a well-deserved break for a few weeks.