There was the usual pre-election self-aggrandizement, emphasis on how amazing the US economy is, Fed-bashing ('where are my negative interest rates?')...and while the carrot of a US-China trade deal was dangled, the clear threat was that if there is no trade deal then tariffs are going to go much higher, not the much lower that the market has been pricing for. "Substantial" and "Substantially" where the two words Trump used to describe future tariff hikes, if seen: does that mean 40% or 50%? The response from the Chinese side did not bode well either: the editor of China's Global Times effectively said "boring!", and specifically retorted to Trump's attacks on China's alleged sharp trade practices that "a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth". (Or 'what a lot of Goebbels').
It says something about how the market is 'working' at the moment that even Trump openly stating things can easily get far worse, not better, on the trade front did not see it blink much: US Treasury yields were only marginally lower, equities largely shrugged, and so did USD. "Nothing to see here (except the open threat of US-China divorce): move along, please."
Indeed, as the Middle East sees missiles flying, for a change, as Sydney burns, and as Hong Kong does too (indeed, the police warn the city is "on the edge of total collapse" after this week's chaos – and that's before the latest reported suggestion that this month's elections might be cancelled) it's still all largely Risk On Regardless; that was underlined by the upbeat German ZEW survey of market analysts, who now think all is well with the world; and by the RBNZ, who left rates on hold at 1% when the whisper had been a surprise 25bp cut to 0.75%.
Up, up, up went NZD as a result--1% on the day--as there is no meeting now until February. Up, up, up went Kiwi rates -20bp on the day too. I am sure the RBNZ are thrilled with that RBA-esque outcome, and that it will help ensure that soft landing they want. How could it not: a higher currency and nearly the equivalent of a whole rate-hike when they are still pledging to cut more.
Over in Spain, the far right are up (+28 seats) but also out, as is in not in power, while the far left Unidas Podemos are down (-7 seats) but also in power now, as the Socialist party does a deal with them to scrape together a new government. Once again, a party outside the usual Overton Window (or La Ventana del Overton?) edges into government. Of course, Europe and Mr Market will say, the mainstream governing party will ensure that the radicals don't act radical. And that's been true in some cases (Greece) and not so true in others (Italy).
In Bolivia, we have a new President Jeanine Añez, whom neither former president Morales, now in Mexico, nor his supporters recognise. I wonder if we will be seeing more of that kind of thing ahead.