It all started with a telephone call between President Trump and President Xi and according to President Trump it went very well. “Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Being progress being made!” was the assessment by Mr Trump. While there are many global investors who are visibly concerned about the possibility of a trade war between the number one and two economic powers in the world, the tension seems to be confined and by all accounts the US and China are talking – and talking part is the most important. President Xi gave his assessment as he said that the top two economies are now at a vital stage – most of us would agree with this view – he remains calm as he seems to have confidence in the system and the US relationship.
Global markets have come under pressure with numerous down days in the US indices of 1.0 to 2.0% and from the highs earlier this year, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all down between 18 and 20 percent in what was building up to be the worst December for equity since the Great Depression. Clearly, the US and China will clash over trade but a clear cut solution will be difficult for now, at least for early 2019.
The US and China are on a schedule to resolve trade tensions by March 1, 2019 but we at Classiarius feel that the issues are structural and therefore, problems will last for years to come. The trade war will only get worse in our view.