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E.g., 19-01-2022
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    Gavekal Research

    The European Inflation Split

    Europe is again being split along eastern and western lines. To the West, the European Central Bank is holding fast to its belief in the transitory inflation narrative, with Christine Lagarde barely acknowledging upside risks. Yet to the East, the CEE-3 countries—Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland—are taking inflation as a serious threat. The Hungarian National Bank recently hiked interest rates for the seventh time in less than six months,...

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    Are Rock-Bottom Bond Yields ‘Irrational’?

    What has been the most surprising financial event of 2021? The 20% gain in equity prices, the 40% jump in oil prices and even the fivefold leap in US inflation may all have been bigger than expected, but they were at least directionally understandable consequences of the fastest growth in the world economy for 40 years. That explosive growth, in turn, was a predictable response to last year’s unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimuli, magnified...

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    A Tale Of Two Central Banks

    On Wednesday, the Bank of England ended its expansionary £895bn asset buying program, only to raise its key interest rate by 15bp a day later. In contrast, the European Central Bank stuck to its cautious script, saying it would buy bonds through 2022 and beyond if necessary. Of the two, the UK’s tightening approach’ looks most prone to a forced reversal.

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    Video: The Struggle For Self-Sufficiency

    US efforts to slow the development of China’s domestic semiconductor industry through export bans on US-origin technology has duly stymied its leading chipmakers. As a result, Beijing is working hard to achieve some form of technological self-sufficiency. In this interview, Gavekal Fathom China’s Tilly Zhang outlines two prongs of the effort.

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    Never Mind The Fed Hawks

    Even as the Federal Reserve chairman went out of his way to sound hawkish on Wednesday, risk assets rallied. On the basis that truth often hides in plain sight, the most obvious explanation is that the Fed had well telegraphed an accelerated taper to its asset purchases from US$15bn a month to US$30bn. A faster wind-down to the quantitative easing program means the Fed will be unencumbered in hiking interest rates sooner, if needed. That is a...

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    India Macro Update: Not Quite Normal

    India’s economy is normalizing but is still smaller than it was before the pandemic began. Looking forward, changes induced by the pandemic point to a continued uneven recovery. In this quarterly update, Udith and Tom assess what this environment means for Indian asset values at a point when the United States is tightening monetary conditions.

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    Gavekal Research

    The US Infrastructure Conundrum

    As the central bank pulls away the punch bowl and the fiscal authorities push for a boozy top-up to give the party fresh impetus, the US economy faces an odd moment. With inflation near a 40-year high, opposition to the Biden administration’s sprawling US$1.75trn “Build Back Better” bill is partly focused on its inflationary impact. Critics point to the White House’s infrastructure spending program, passed last month, as having already given an...

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    Gavekal Research

    Missing The Forest For The Trees

    In these strange times, I have recently published a few pieces looking at money’s “reserve of value” function. Yet in preparing these papers, I came to realize that over the last decade I made the classic mistake of focusing too much on what was visible, and missing what was obscured.

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    A Green Light For Onshore Chinese Equities

    Chinese officials are signaling a shift in policy to counter downward pressure on growth, a move which Thomas and Wei believe will set the stage for a rally in onshore equities through 1Q22. The main risk is that policymakers under-deliver on their new rhetoric of stability. Meanwhile, the outlook for offshore Chinese equities is more mixed.

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    Gavekal Research

    Money Supply, Reconsidered

    Money sits at the heart of the economy and financial markets. At a time when inflation is taking off and the US Federal Reserve is starting to scale back its money printing, investors badly need a single reliable gauge of US money supply—not a dozen or more. In this report, Will offers a new measure of money supply that he believes is suitable for today’s conditions.

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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, December 2021

    Our senior team consider the big strategy questions that should be vexing investors in 2022. This includes an assessment of potential positive surprises that could present opportunities for investors who are positioned ahead of time. Our team also consider prospects for the undersupplied and underinvested global energy market.

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    Asia’s Manipulative Havens

    In early December, the US Treasury published its half-yearly report card on currency manipulation, in which it softened its criticism of offenders’ foreign exchange policies. When it comes to East Asia, the softening of US criticism is a sign that the Treasury is encouraged the targeted countries are intervening less heavily, allowing their currencies to appreciate.

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    Video: Pricing French Political Risk

    With four months to go before France’s 2022 presidential election, the lion’s share of publicity has so far been captured by the populist rightCedric assesses whether a right-wing Euroskeptic could really capture the Elysée palace come April, to what extent polling gains by populist candidates icould destabilize Europe’s financial markets.

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    Growth Stock Relative Performance

    In Monday’s Daily, I pondered the odd outperformance of US growth stocks at a time of upside inflationary surprises. A sharp-eyed client noted that this outperformance depended on the part of the market under review. In fact, the relative performance divergence between US large-cap growth stocks and US small-cap growth stocks is unprecedented.

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    Gavekal Research

    Behind The Absence Of Asian Consumer Inflation

    At a time when headline inflation is running at 30-year highs in both the US and the eurozone, Asia stands out for its absence of abnormal consumer inflation. Now admittedly, emerging Asia is not uniform, yet it is fair to say that across the segment as a whole, consumer inflation is the dog that has failed to bark.This is not necessarily the benign picture it may appear.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Evolving China-Africa Nexus

    China struck a blow in its battle with the United States for global influence last week. As the US and Europe slapped travel bans on African countries over omicron fears, China’s foreign minister was in Africa pledging 1bn Covid vaccines, US$40bn in credit and investment, and greater access to the Chinese domestic market.

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    Gavekal Research

    A Cautious Easing

    China’s recent cut to its reserve-requirement ratio is another signal that policymakers are becoming more willing to ease policy to counter the sharp slowdown in growth. But will it be enough? Wei argues that, while positive for equities, the modest easing set to occur in 2022 will at best stabilize growth rather than drive a cyclical rebound.

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    Gavekal Research

    Beijing Seminar & Webinar — December 2021

    In our recent live-streamed seminar in Beijing, Anatole presented his case for why markets are right not to panic about high headline inflation numbers. Louis cast doubt on claims that this current bout of inflation is transitory. Arthur and members of the Dragonomics team presented on China's economy, policy goals and asset markets.

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    Gavekal Research

    What If Inflation Had Not Appeared?

    If inflation had stayed roughly at the level of the previous decade, one would have expected long-term bond yields to stay contained, large-cap US growth stocks to outperform and the US dollar to remain well bid. Yet, all this came to pass even as inflation soared to generational highs. So Louis asks: what would have happened if inflation hadn't soared?

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    Ripple Effects On The Supply Chain

    A year after a handful of auto manufacturers first began to complain about difficulties sourcing integrated circuits from component suppliers, the global semiconductor shortage has broadened to affect the sales outlook of high-end industry segments—such as premium smartphones—that until recently have remained largely immune. This is causing ripple effects far back along Asia’s hardware supply chains, which is bad news for the region’s export...

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