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In the Media

Brace for the Trump effect

Wednesday 8 February, 2017

Brace for the Trump effect

By Liam Dann, originally published in the NZ Herald

Investors need to be prepared for the inevitable moment US President Donald Trump says or does something that has a serious market impact, says Pie Funds chief executive Mike Taylor.

"We should expect that at some point - whether it is next week, six months, two years, three years away - he will do something that will have an effect," he said. "So be prepared for that eventuality."

Wall street has had a strong run since Trump was elected on November 8, with the major indices reaching record highs and the Dow Jones going through 20,000 points.

However Taylor said he was not convinced by the idea of a "Trump rally".

The global economy had experienced good growth in the last quarter of 2016 and that probably had more to do with the rally than Trump, he said.

"You only have to look at Europe and the UK, which have been doing just as well."

Meanwhile, the first signs of markets being rattled by Trump's policies emerged this week as Wall Street fell following the immigration ban and the backlash that created.

Where previously there had been expectations that a Trump victory would mean more spending and stimulus for the US economy doubts have been creeping in around his ability to deliver that stimulus and whether it can compensate for the negative impact of heightened global trade tensions.

"There is certainly a case to argue that they [the US] don't need fiscal stimulus from Trump," Taylor said.

Markets were likely to remain focused on US earnings season which is now in full swing.

In New Zealand the markets have been more subdued.

The flow of money into our market continued to be driven by yield, Taylor said.

"Interest rates have be going up which meant that a lot of the money has flowed out of the NZX and ASX, and that theme has continued to play out," he said.

If the US economy continued to perform the Federal Reserve would have to lift rates again and that would strengthen the US dollar further.

That, of course, would depend on how Trump's policies panned out.

Investors were just going to have to learn to "live in an environment where the leader of the free-world was predictably unpredictable," Taylor said.

"That will at some point have an effect on markets because he will say or do something that will effect the economic outlook for the US or the world."

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