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E.g., 30-10-2020
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Good News For Corporate Earnings

    Good news for corporates: aggregate Q2 net profits for China’s listed non-financial firms were flat YoY, compared to a 50% Q1 decline. In this Quick Take, Thomas explains why he thinks this recovery in listed earnings is likely to continue through H2; however, he expects Q2’s big outperformers to take a step back in the coming months.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Perfect Asian Proxy

    The Federal Reserve’s new policy framework seems set to keep US monetary policy easier for longer, with the main victim being the dollar. Asian currencies now look well primed and the question for investors is how to play this trend given the very different experiences being had by regional economies. Fortunately, there is a simple answer: just buy the Singapore dollar.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    A (Short) History Of Central Banking In The US

    Gavekal readers will be familiar with Charles's distinction between tools and jewels as a way of thinking about markets. He notes that today we have negative real interest rates while gold has outperformed both cash over the last 12 months and the US stock market since 2018. Today, he asks if we are at the start of a new counter-trend rally in gold relative to US equities.

    7
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Experiment With Sectoral Monetary Policy

    Central banks usually concern themselves with the economy in the aggregate. The People’s Bank of China is now experimenting with a disaggregated approach, minimizing changes in overall policy and instead directing the flow of credit to specific sectors. In this piece, Wei considers whether this experiment can work, and where rates are headed.

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    Gavekal Research

    US Profits In The Pandemic

    My preferred “NIPA profits” measure fell by -14.4% during the second quarter of the year, according to US national accounts data released late last week. That follows a similarly bad -13.3% fall in the first quarter. Both declines are on par with the worst quarters in post-war history. And like previous low points, US corporate profitability is likely to recover from here. But what does the data tell us about the investment environment and what...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Fed Boosts The Inflation Outlook

    The Federal Reserve made a historic change to its monetary policy framework yesterday when it officially adopted “average inflation targeting”. That bullseye remains 2%, but the definition of the target has changed in a way that, in the current context, effectively raises the inflation outlook. This has important implications for future policymaking and current asset pricing.

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    Gavekal Research

    Desperately Seeking Anti-Fragility (Part I)

    Since the 1980s, OECD government bonds have tended to be negatively correlated with equities, but during the pandemic that relationship seems to have broken down. Given that the Federal Reserve is embracing a new policy framework aimed at juicing up inflation, there are plenty of reasons to think that bonds cannot continue to play an "anti-fragile" role in portfolios. In this first installment of a two-part series looking at what...

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    An Acceptable Amount Of Chaos

    The first batch of 18 firms on Shenzhen’s tech-oriented ChiNext board under new registration-based IPO regulations exhibited exceptional levels of price volatility this week after their Monday debut. In this Quick Take, Thomas explains why this volatility is to be expected in Chinese equities and might even be an improvement on the status quo.

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    Gavekal Research

    Rich, But Keeping It Real

    The US consumer's willingness to spend remains reliable, even during the pandemic, as shown by consumer discretionary stocks sharply outperforming the rest of the market. Since this stock grouping includes pandemic winners like Amazon and Home Depot there is little reason to bet on a trend-change, as the macro winds should remain favorable.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Dimensions Of Decoupling In 2020

    The “decoupling” of the US and Chinese economies that began with a trade war has now spread to almost all aspects of the relationship, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the process. In this chartbook, Andrew and Dan show what decoupling looks like so far in 2020, using data on flows of trade, investment, technology, finance and people.

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    Gavekal Research

    Video: A South China Sea October Surprise?

    Tensions in the South China Sea between the US and China are ramping up during a presidential campaign where the incumbent has set himself on a collision course with China. You do not have to be a crazed conspiracy theorist to wonder if this theatre could be the scene of an “October Surprise”.

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    Gavekal Research

    Japan Drifts Toward Change

    This week Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe went into hospital for medical tests, sparking fresh reports that he may soon step down on health grounds. Should Abe exit the scene it is unclear who will succeed him. If a leadership change becomes unavoidable, Abe will likely play a key role in anointing his successor, so there is unlikely to be a big shift in the “Abenomics” program anytime soon.

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    Gavekal Research

    Does Warren Buffett Know Something We Don't?

    The sage of Omaha made an interesting change of tack recently. Warren Buffet sold most of his shares in Goldman Sachs and bought positions in Barrick Gold. Goldman is often held up as the very epitome of the Wall Street financial engineering firm. Meanwhile, Barrick represents the kind of company you would buy if you no longer trusted financial engineering—or the currency in which the financial engineering is taking place.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Understanding Dual Circulation

    Top leader Xi Jinping is now promoting a new slogan—dubbed “dual circulation”—to manage China's significant dependencies on the global economy. In this report, Gilliam explains how this does not mean the country is turning inward, but rather trying to gain more control over its long-term growth without losing its role as an international hub.

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    Gavekal Research

    A Bottom In Sight For European Banks

    No sector has been so beaten down as eurozone banks. But although bad loan ratios are rising, and further big writedowns are on the cards, this bad news is in the price. What is less adequately priced in is the change in policy from the European Union which means there will be no early return to austerity. Eurozone banks may be better placed than investors believe to generate earnings.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Euro's Solid Ground

    After a breakneck 10% rally against the US dollar since mid-May, the euro faces headwinds as rising Covid-19 cases means that European nations must re-instigate social distancing measures. Still, Europe’s newly-agreed common purpose in facing such travails makes any sell-off in the single currency a buying opportunity as the unit looks set on a path of structural appreciation.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    A New FDR?

    Joe Biden has accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for the US presidency. Invoking Franklin D. Roosevelt, who responded to the Great Depression with huge public works, Biden promised big fiscal programs to “build back better” after the Covid-19 recession. He also vowed to combat climate change, reduce wealth disparities and advance liberal causes.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Climbing Up The Smartphone Smiling Curve

    Chinese advances in hardware technology have increased the country’s contribution to the global smartphone supply chain. In this report, Dan explains how Chinese firms have increased their value-added in both innovation and branding. Now, he suggests, the main headwinds for Chinese smartphones are no longer technological, but geopolitical.

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    Gavekal Research

    Making Biarritz Great Again (Part II)

    A few years back Charles and Louis bought into the storied Biarritz Olympique Rugby Club in order to save it from a looming bankruptcy. The ups and downs of this Basque region club during Covid is a microcosm of the French economy’s travails, as the state seeks to protect all players on the field of commerce from both crunching tackles and a spell in the sin bin.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Headwinds Build For Equities

    Chinese equities tapped on their ceiling this week but have been unable to break through, despite both surprisingly positive economic data and rebounding corporate earnings. In this piece, Thomas explains how increasingly adverse liquidity conditions are keeping a downward pressure on the markets which is unlikely to lift in the short term.

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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The State Of The US Recovery

    Pandemic aside, the US faces a looming fiscal cliff and rising political risk as the presidential election campaign starts proper. So why is Will so sanguine about the country’s economic prospects? In this video interview, he explains his position.

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    Gavekal Research

    Europe’s Job-Protection Choices

    Between February and April, some 22mn Americans lost their jobs. The rate of unemployment soared to nearly 15%—four percentage points above its last record high in 1982—but across the pond in Europe joblessness barely budged, inching up to 7.8%, from 7.2% in March. Taking the lead from Germany, governments across Europe decided it was better to keep people in jobs than to fire and rehire them later. As Europe again faces a worsening Covid-19...

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    Gavekal Research

    Solid US Earnings Do Not Mean Another Boom Beckons

    With more than 90% of firms in the S&P 500 having reported for the second quarter, the hit to earnings came in nowhere near as bad as expected. This picture is likely to be sustained in the coming year, or so and should lay the ground for solid US equity market performance. Yet, those hoping for a sustained economic recovery to generate the kind of epic returns seen in 2Q20, or in 2009 after the financial crisis, will likely be disappointed.

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  • Gavekal Research

    Why I Was Wrong To Turn Bearish

    Yesterday, Anatole suggested that stock markets may be soaring to new records because the Covid-19 crisis could indirectly produce a stronger world economy in the coming decade. Today, he seeks to explain his damascene conversion from post-March bearishness in order that readers can better judge the merit of this view.

    8
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    Gavekal Research

    A Death Sentence For Huawei

    The US government has passed a death sentence on Huawei. The questions now are whether it will choose to suspend that sentence, and whether China will retaliate by punishing major US companies. The likely answers, says Dan, are no and no. Huawei is probably finished as a maker of 5G network equipment and smartphones once its inventories run out early next year.

    16
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    Gavekal Research

    Will A Keynesian Phoenix Arise From Covid?

    Two months ago, Anatole dismissed the rebound in equity prices as an outbreak of “market madness” among bored small-time gamblers deprived of the opportunity to bet on horses and sports. He now admits that call was wrong and in this piece explains what has driven the market to new highs. The turnaround likely reflects the largescale reconversion of leading economies to Keynesian demand-management policies and the fact that these seem baked-in...

    17
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    Gavekal Research

    The Past Is Another Country

    With US$3trn added to the US national debt during the Covid-19 crisis and trillions more in the works should new salary replacement payments be agreed in Congress, a vital question for investors is how to think about this runaway government spending and what it means for bonds and the US dollar.

    4
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Don’t Call It A Bailout

    China’s government is finally rolling out a plan to aid small banks, the weakest links in the nation’s financial system. But don’t call it a bailout, Xiaoxi argues in this piece: while the government will replenish RMB200bn in capital, the money will mostly support relatively solid banks. The truly troubled banks will be shuttered or acquired.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    Huawei And The Roads Of The Future

    China is engaged in an imperial project that will not be typified by territorial conquest, but by “road building”. This is done to bring commodities to the heart of the empire at the cheapest cost, while higher value-added finished goods are pushed out to its outer realms. It is no coincidence that a common saying for Europeans is that “all roads lead to Rome’”.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Another Leg Up For Growth

    After plateauing in Q2, China’s economic activity is stepping up in Q3, powered by demand in housing, infrastructure and exports, and a lessening drag in consumer services. In this Quick Take, Thomas, Rosealea and Wei explain how these factors will assist the country as it continues down its path back to economic normalcy.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Keep Chasing Asian Yield

    As US equities brush up against new highs and safety assets like gold and treasuries sell off, global risk appetite has risen this week. Investors are betting that a vaccine for Covid-19 is at hand and if not, the world is at least learning to live with the virus. A potential beneficiary of this situation may be Asian bond markets, where quite decent yield can still be had.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Building A New System

    On Monday, Charles argued that developed economies’ moves to nationalize both the creation of money and the distribution of credit would degrade the unit-of-account function played by fiat currencies in many markets. Today, he outlines new monetary mechanisms that are likely to replace, or at least live alongside, fiat currencies.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe's Covid-19 Loan Drag

    In response to the Covid-19 crisis, central banks in Europe have shoveled money to banks in a bid to have them deliver liquidity to stressed companies. A worry is that this new debt binge will weigh down corporate balance sheets for years to come, and limit growth. These concerns are probably overdone.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    What US-China Decoupling Means For The US Dollar

    Almost all of the world’s commodity trade is done in US dollars, so any commodity-importing country must keep much of its central-bank reserves in US currency. The fact that China, the world’s largest commodity importer, pays for these imports using another nation’s currency was an anomaly even when the US and China got along. As US hostility towards Beijing increases, this raises four possible scenarios.

    9
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Hawks In The Driver’s Seat

    The China hawks are at the wheel in the Trump administration and driving as fast as they can. In this report, Arthur outlines the many tactics being employed by hardliners in the White House to lock in an adversarial stance against China ahead of the US elections. However tense things have been so far, even tenser times lie ahead.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    The Destruction Of The Monetary System

    A basic assumption for Charles has long been that the creation of money was not under the control of governments but loosely related to value being added in the private sector of the economy. However, with governments now willfully upending this relationship, he thinks the capitalist system faces its biggest upheaval since 1917.

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    The State Of The US Recovery

    The renewed Covid-19 outbreak in the past two months put a brake on the US recovery, but that engine is again firing. Despite many states having reversed opening measures, Friday’s payroll report came in strong, with the unemployment rate down to 10.2%; high-frequency data like mobility readings paint a similar picture.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Taking On Tencent

    President Donald Trump signed executive orders on Thursday imposing restrictions on Tencent and ByteDance, two of China’s biggest software giants. In this report, Dan explains how the broad language in the orders might end up blocking any US person or company from working with the firms, dealing a major blow to their operations.

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    How To Pay For Sin In The Future?

    Just as success has many fathers, there are many possible explanations for the upside breakout in gold prices. Obvious explanations include a rapid rise in monetary aggregates across the OECD, the fall in the US dollar and growing US-China tensions. An overlooked explanation is the demise of physical cash as a liquid and easily transportable asset.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Emerging Markets And The Dollar

    A weakening US dollar is usually an unalloyed positive for emerging markets, so it is no surprise that their assets have rallied since the March 23 bottom in global markets—equities are up 45%, while bonds (both US dollar and local currency-based indexes) have gained 20%. Happy days indeed, but the next stage of the EM rally is likely to be more exacting for investors.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: A Joe Biden Presidency?

    With the US presidential election less than three months away, polling suggests Joe Biden and the Democrats have a chance at a clean sweep of the White House and Congress. While Biden has been open about wanting to raise taxes and tackle climate change, he would inherit an economy still reeling from the coronavirus shock. With this in mind, Yanmei outlines what the 100 first days of a Biden presidency are likely to look like.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Leading The Way In Export Recovery

    Chinese exports have outperformed expectations due to booming sales of goods related to Covid-19 and Chinese manufacturers staying open when their international counterparts were forced to suspend production. In this report, Thomas explains why China's export growth will continue to flatten in H2 as global trade catches up.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Tech As The Battlefield Of The Unfolding Cold War

    Despite technology issues sitting at the heart of the great-power struggle between the US and China, tech stocks continue to brush off geopolitical tensions. Louis is concerned that the market's assumptions don't line up with reality on three counts. It all adds up to a bad brew for tech.

    16
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    Gavekal Research

    Different Decades, Different Backdrops

    In the months after the 2008 global mortgage crisis, gold prices broke out to new highs in part driven by the belief that quantitative easing would trigger higher inflation, perhaps even hyper-inflation. Against such a backdrop investors flocked to real assets. Today, similar forces seem to be at work, although maybe in more concentrated form.

    8
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Bringing Back Volatility

    Cleaning up the messy world of wealth-management products is still a key mission in China’s financial de-risking campaign, even if the PBOC has now had to give banks another year to work on it. In this piece, Xiaoxi explains how the regulatory crackdown is pushing the risks hidden in WMPs out into the open, increasing market volatility.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Why It Won't Be Hamiltonian

    A number of Gavekal writers, in addition to a good share of investors in eurozone assets, saw last month's embrace of mutualized lending to hard-hit European economies as a game changer. Charles is far from convinced that this move has expunged the original sin of the euro, since the single currency area remains riddled with competitiveness problems.

    14
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    Gavekal Research

    The Assault On Chinese Tech

    After a whirlwind of negotiations, the US government may have succeeded in forcing the sale of TikTok’s US operations to a US company. The US earlier used national-security grounds to restrict the business of Huawei. Both companies still have large domestic businesses, but US government actions over the past year may mark a peak for the global expansion by Chinese tech firms.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe Stares Down A Second Wave

    Europe beat back the Covid-19 outbreak in March and April with decisive responses and reaped the benefit by reopening its economy in the early summer. Now, however, the price of fun in the sun has come due, with a rising case count that has led Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, to label it Europe’s “second wave”. In response to rising infections in Spain, the UK has reimposed quarantine rules on returning travelers from the country, while...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Strategy Monthly: From Bullish To Neutral On The US

    The upsurge in second-round Covid-19 infections has put the US economic recovery on hold for now. But government, businesses and consumers have got better at coping with Covid, and in contrast to the first round, the economy is not going backwards.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Not All Tech Markets Are Created Equal

    Aided by lockdown effects, Big Tech has rolled out some stellar results. Self-isolating consumers have replaced devices and devoured cloud computing services, spurring a new upgrade cycle. Such demand has boosted Asia’s tech supply chain, but surging hardware demand is about to become more specific, with some segments facing excess supply and others sustained tightness.

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