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MARKET RECAP
Get a head start on tomorrow's headlines. Succinct market analysis, updated frequently, reviewing the factors most responsible for changes in valuation, trends and sentiment, with highlights to the major themes driving market forces.

THE MORNING TRACK – HAVEN

There is a utopian feel to markets when they rush to safe-havens to weather out political and financial storms. The implication is that you can wait it out and return to trend and profits. This is always a “hope” trade more than a “fundamental” one. Buying JPY and selling equities dominated Asia. The mood-shift yesterday on President Trump backing away from a certain China ZTE deal and casting doubt on the surety of the June 12 North Korea summit left US markets hurting. Talk that OPEC was considering production increases flipped oil adding to equity woes – but all that was yesterday’s news. Today is about finding a “haven” – a shelter from the storm. One of the quirks of English is that heaven and haven sound alike but come from different roots. One describes a joyous afterlife where God resides, the other a harbor, a shelter for boats. That maybe a good way of thinking about today and recognizing the confusion over what is “safe” and what is “utopian” about trading risk today. The key news stories driving overnight started with an RBNZ paper discussing non-traditional monetary policy – code for QE that sparked some selling of NZD, throw in a weaker Australian construction output and AUD followed mixing badly with China/US trade war fears. The weaker Japan flash PMI poured cold water on a 2Q sharp recovery while European flash reports were even worse making the 1Q soft patch extend into 2Q. The EU markets were hit on the open with talk of more US trade troubles – as Trump pushes for a 10% cut in steel and aluminum exports. The Italian political fears remain a concern with more articles talking about Italy being too big to fail and too big to save. The pain trade in EM also continues with TRY off almost 5% approaching 5 - driving more contagion fears elsewhere. All of this puts the search for safety back in play with JPY the first focus with 110 breaking and opening a larger reversal risk to 108 again. Expect the JPY to reflect the risk-off better than gold or CHF given the present mix. If we hold at 109.80 that maybe enough to suggest yet another mood swing and return to utopia – all likely dependent on the reading of FOMC minutes later today.

THOUGHT PIECE
Trackresearch.com offers a virtual research team to the sophisticated investor. This in-depth research presents strategic perspectives about, and derives long-term implications from, economic events, asset class trends, and specific financial market valuations.

ROBOTS, EMPLOYMENT AND THE MIS-MEASUREMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY

UK productivity – output/hour has risen 1.5% in a decade UK unemployment, at 4.2%, is the lowest since April 1975 UK real-wages have risen by 1.1% per annum over the last four years Robots may be coming but it’s not showing up in the data

TRADE IDEAS
Our tactical and (mostly) short-term analysis offers potential trading opportunities in fixed income, foreign exchange, commodity, equity and other asset classes. Technical and fundamental analysis is applied for risk positioning. Trackresearch.com monitors the success of all recommendations.

THE TRACK APRIL IDEA DINNER - RENEWALS

The post 2008 crisis is now 10-years unwinding and we are in a similar place as T.S. Eliot was in the post WWI era with a zeitgeist bringing cynicism and disillusionment over society, government, finance and policy, particularly in the West. There is a sense of gloom even as economic recovery continues and even as geopolitical concerns ebb. The hope for a renewal in confidence with global coordinated growth extending from 2017 to 2018 has been a key focus for policy makers and investors. The FOMC talks of 4 hikes in 2018, the ECB promises to end its QE, the BOJ thinks about what an exit would look like to its policy. The IMF WEO last week, with its April update, remained upbeat. Trade outlooks for the world remain betterdespite ongoing fears about tariffs, trade spats leading to larger issues, cold war conflicts in Syria, Yemen and hotpots like the South China Sea, the Irish/UK border and the Crimea. World trade has expanded in lock step with the prices of commodities reflecting global demand. The April Track Research Idea dinner brought together a great group of analysts, portfolio managers and investors to discuss the major themes facing markets. The mood in the room was upbeat on risk, even as the tail risks were described as a “layer cake” of fears. The break of correlations between asset classes was a key focus as was the rise of volatility and what that meant for trading in 2018. The reaction function of the FOMC and other central banks was clearly in play along with the stark contrast of North Korea peace summit hopes against the rapidly devolving Iran nuclear deal extending in May. The ebullience of the room rested on the view that higher oil prices reflect higher global demand and that the US rates going up are similarly reflecting better global growth.

OBSERVATIONS
Markets shift. This is where Trackresearch.com analyzes those shifts. These pieces focus on the reactions to particular market sector events, and the issues and data that may cause adverse or unexpected market movements.

THE MORNING TRACK – GOOD FRIDAY

Today is a holiday and this will be short – there was important news overnight and that will put the holiday weekend in perspective. Happy Easter and Passover. Geopolitics first – Trump threatens the South Korea trade pact if the talks with the North don’t have denuclearization as key. “I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea,” Trump said yesterday in his Ohio speech. “Does everybody understand that? You know why, right? Because it’s a very strong card.” Economics second – the EU flash inflation was higher in Italy and France while in Japan it was lower. The threat of inflation remains central to rate hiking risks and its just not conclusive for faster action. Markets third – the rally extended in Japan and China overnight for equities. The tech jitters have subsided despite Trump bravado on attacking Amazon yesterday. For trading markets into Monday expect the focus to remain on JPY. The USD/JPY won’t like the threat of talk failures and linking trade success to North Korea. This linkage will clearly extend to China. The rebound in equities this week has been in part due to that hope that the South Korea pact foreshadows China talks. The other point for JPY is in the Tankan where the data on employment and industrial production today highlight risks for a slowing economy and that won’t sit well. If prices don’t go up, the pressure on Abe and the BOJ will accelerate and JPY buying maybe something to watch – 100 before 110? In order for USD bulls to get excited you need to burst back over 107.75 (the 55-day).

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MARKET RECAP

Get a head start on tomorrow's headlines. Succinct market analysis, updated frequently, reviewing the factors most responsible for changes in valuation, trends and sentiment, with highlights to the major themes driving market forces.

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