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E.g., 22-10-2017
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    Gavekal Research

    The Scene Is Set For Abenomics Act II

    On Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got what he wanted: a resounding victory in Japan’s snap general election; a general election he had painted as a referendum on his ‘Abenomics’ economic policy program. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, its junior partner in the ruling coalition, won 325 of the 475 seats up for grabs in the House of Representatives, maintaining their two-thirds majority in the lower house of Japan’s parliament,...

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    Gavekal Research

    China And North Asia’s Deflation Syndrome

    Northeast Asian economies are “fated” to experience a structural deflation as they mature due to the nature of their industrialization model. Such economic determinism means that China faces an imminent risk of structural deflation similar to that experienced by Taiwan 20 years ago. In this piece Joyce argues that the way Northeast Asian economies protect their financial systems helps them avoid acute financial crises, but ensures a date with...

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    Gavekal Research

    China A-Shares: Beyond The Leverage

    It is no secret that China’s A-share market has risen as far and as fast as it has over the last few weeks because stock prices have been propelled by an explosion in margin trading and soaring interest in index futures. But although rising leverage can add enormously to the momentum of a stock market rally to create a runaway snowball effect, leverage by itself is not enough to set the ball rolling in the first place. At least some of the...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: When To Bet On A Reversal Of The Yen?

    “Abenomics” has become a confidence game in that the government must do whatever it takes to stop the public losing faith in the Bank of Japan’s ability to spur reflation—even if this means printing ever larger sums of money (see Gold For Japan’s Confidence Game). A breakdown in confidence is unthinkable as it will kill both risk appetite and consumer demand. So unless Shinzo Abe can pull a rabbit from the hat, Japan appears to be heading for...

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    Gavekal Research

    A Balanced Portfolio Alternative

    In recent weeks Charles has argued forcefully that the specter of deflation looms large. He sees capitalism returning to its “19th century roots” of deflationary booms and busts. He points to the wide dispersion of weak prices and in yesterday’s Daily added a twist by highlighting weak silver prices as a reliable predictor of price declines (see The Signal In Silver). If you accept this view, the next question becomes whether price signals point...

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    Gavekal Research

    What If The Yen Falls Another 20%?

    Japan’s woeful third quarter performance—the economy contracted at an annualized 1.6% rate, pushing the economy into a technical recession—has killed any remaining expectations that the government of Shinzo Abe will proceed with its original plan to raise the country’s sales tax for a second time next year to 10%. In the absence of further fiscal consolidation, this will leave the prime minister’s ‘Abenomics’ policy to revitalize Japan’s economy...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: Soft Commodity Prices Provide A Profit Cushion

    Are weak commodity prices good or bad news for Asia? Most Asian countries are net commodity importers, so common sense dictates that they will benefit from lower input costs. What’s more, just as rising prices represented a transfer of wealth towards commodity producers, so weaker prices will support consumer demand by lifting real incomes.

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    Gavekal Research

    In Japan The Era Of QE Continues

    Just two days after the US Federal Reserve ended its program of quantitative easing, and with the world still waiting to see if the European Central Bank will ever launch effective action, the Bank of Japan stepped up to the plate, stunning markets by announcing a major expansion of its own balance sheet. The acceleration of the BoJ’s “quantitative and qualitative easing” will markedly widen the divergence of monetary policy between Japan and...

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (October 29): The Fiscal Imperative

    Overview: Anatole Kaletsky explains why monetary policy has become an effective irrelevance and fiscal policy is really the only game in town.

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: Japan's Fiscal Debate

    Japan’s fiscal policy has been the exception among developed economies this year. While others sought to avoid austerity, Japan hiked its sales tax rate from 5% to 8% in April, sending the economy into contraction. The weaker-than-expected recovery from this slump has prompted a series of growth downgrades, with the International Monetary Fund cutting Japan’s forecast growth rate for 2014 in half to just 0.9% and predicting a 25% chance of...

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    Gavekal Research

    Buying The Dip? Choose Asia

    Markets remain jittery, but the last week has at least seen a break in the downward momentum. Hence it may be worth taking stock of relative performance by the big regions. Looking across the MSCI benchmarks, the All Country World index is down –4.7% since its peak in early September, while the US, Eurozone, Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) and Emerging Asia declined respectively by –3.9%, -5.2%, -8.4% and –5.4%.

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (October 15): The Equity Rout

    Overview: François Chauchat asks whether a US recovery is enough to drive global equity markets or has the world changed.

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: Finding Real Growth In Emerging Markets

    US dollar strength and weakening commodity prices have knocked the wind out of global equities in recent weeks, and EMs have not been immune. Intuitively, the emerging market experiencing relatively larger losses could be broadly classified into three somewhat inter-related buckets: (i) markets where idiosyncratic factors add to geopolitical risk premiums (e.g., Russia, Argentina, etc.); (ii) markets facing a loss of growth momentum as the China...

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    Gavekal Research

    Japan: Where Bad News Is Good

    At first glance recent data flows from Japan appear deeply at odds with the market action. Factory output, consumer spending and real wages all fell in August, while Japan’s economic surprise index has spent most of the last month deep in negative territory, an exceptional occurrence, even when viewed through the lens of Japan’s recent lost decade. Yet in a dismal third quarter for global equity markets, Japanese stocks stood out for their...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: It Pays To Restart

    Japan has a clear economic interest in restarting its nuclear power program since the high cost of replacing its cheapest source of power has had a direct negative impact on the government’s hoped for reflation—most of the price rises generated in the last two years have come not from improving domestic demand, but higher power bills. And now that Japan has learned to live without nuclear power (and accept the costs) policymakers must be...

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    Gavekal Research

    Asia Can Handle A Strong Dollar

    Can emerging markets handle a strong US dollar? This is a crucial question for investors in emerging Asia since an appreciating dollar has often spelt trouble for the region’s markets. The worry is that the dollar now looks to be on a secular strengthening trend with the DXY up 6% since July 1. For its part, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index has lost 3% in less than two weeks.

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    Gavekal Research

    Japanese Equities' Surprise Potential

    After spending most of this year range-trading against the US dollar, the Japanese yen has moved decisively lower since July. Yet—unlike the last time the yen broke out in 1H13—equity investors have mostly yawned. Despite a mild pick-up in economic growth and inflation since it took office in late 2012, Shinzo Abe’s government has failed to deliver meaningful structural reform. As a result, equity investors have been left trying to game the...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: Whether To Bet On A Permanent BoJ Bid

    We do not like Japanese government bonds. In our view their return on capital is simply too low to justify an allocation. Local players, however, disagree.

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    Gavekal Research

    Asia’s New Credit Cycle

    The US dollar’s renewed strength has seen most major currencies swoon before it in recent weeks. A notable exception has been the emerging Asia basket which has seen declines of less than 1% against the dollar compared to falls of up to 5% for the euro, yen and sterling. We don’t think this is a case of emerging Asia being the next shoe to drop. Instead, under-owned Asian markets look to be in an early phase of a new credit cycle following the...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: Japanese Labor Market Dilemma

    Japanese policymakers face a dilemma that at first glance looks extremely welcome. A labor market which has reached its tightest point since the early 1990s should help the Bank of Japan achieve its inflation target. The issue is that an absence of appropriately skilled workers threatens Japanese companies’ ability to expand their operations.

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