CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

Trader thoughts - the long and short of it

Volatility is up, and risk appetite has been dulled. The VIX traded towards the 22 figure overnight, while currency safe havens such as the Yen were sought amid a somewhat remarkable sell-off across global equities during the European and North American sessions.

Source: Bloomberg

Volatility: It’s a matter of markets continuing to adjust to a world of higher interest rates and US Treasury yields – coupled with the expected panic when prices recalibrate to evolving fundamentals. A strong enough argument can be made that we are witness the beginning of the end for the US bull-market: there’s no shortage of voices out there suggesting so. It stands to reason that perhaps riskier plays into growth stocks should be replaced by more conservative investment strategies – say, by rotating into defensive, higher yield stocks. The idea holds merit, but a few days of selling on the back of a less than assured spike in global bond yields isn’t a cogent enough argument to abandon all risk-taking.

North America: Wall Street has demonstrated a broad-based sell-off. Once more: investors are adjusting to changing fundamentals in the face of higher global rates. Sectors with what may be dubbed stretched valuations are struggling, unaided by the kick-up in discount rates and unattractive yields. The tech-sector, embodied by the NASDAQ, has delivered the most significant losses for the US session, down in the realm of 4 percent; but the Dow Jones and S&P isn’t far behind, down about 3.1 per cent and 2.6 per cent (give-or-take) themselves. The sectoral map across all three of these indices is painted a rich red today: traders are apparently grabbing cash here, liquidating what they can before they get lost in the herd.

The end of a cycle? When markets experience the sorts of structural shifts being witnessed in the last fortnight-or-so, falling back on conventional wisdom can be illuminating. Not to say it provides the answers, but more so that historical knowledge can be drawn upon to show nuance and contrast in the haze of the present moment. What of the economic cycle here? The rationale behind traders’ behaviour might be described as a response to the ever-beating mechanics of the macro-economic process. The Fed is raising rates and growth is apparently reaching a peak, meaning that upside for capital growth may be diminishing. Turning these gains into cash and distributing profit could be the smart-money driver of equity markets, in the expectation that little more can be reaped from what has been sowed.

Upside exists: While compelling, markets function at the influence of far too many distortions to rest on the belief that we are end of cycle. The Fed’s unwinding balance sheet and progressive interest rate normalization is an act without precedent: cycles have been bent and interfered with, making prices a less reliable indicator of financial market phenomena. It’s in part why a sell-off such as the one witnessed in Europe and North America overnight elicits such nervousness. Markets can’t be sure what was once true still applies. In digesting the US experience and how it relates to Fed policy, it must be counter-balanced with notion that global monetary policy is still very accommodative. Granted, this is less so than 4 or 5 years ago, but in the grand scheme of things, with Europe and Japan still in negative interest rates, not to mention a Chinese government with a stimulus bias, reason to believe markets remain well supported are ample.

Bears abound: It’s intermingled with other concerns, for sure, so a bearish sentiment permeating markets is easy to understand. Mystery still reigns regarding the health of China’s economy, and the European Union and the economic zone it presides over looks inherently unsound. European markets participated in the equity market dumping, sucked into that black-hole by widespread panic selling, driving the DAX and FTSE 100 down 2.2 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. Rates and bond markets de-risked slightly, however, boosted by the news that key Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier believes a Brexit deal could arrive as soon as next week. The pound has flown toward 1.32 while the EUR is sustaining itself at 1.1520, supported by a diversifying of risk across G4 currencies in response to the night’s equity rout.

Asian equities: The Chinese growth story may be the biggest determinant of the Australian share-market’s fortunes, however: slow growth in China means slow growth in Australia, so the ASX200’s sell-off this month can be explained-away easily when also factoring the raucous activity in global bond markets. The technicals become interesting for the ASX 200 here, especially given that SPI futures are pointing to a dumping this morning, with weekly trend-line resistance at ~5860 in risk of being breached. For investors with a preference for the Asian region, attractive valuations abound, explaining the little jump in the Hang Seng yesterday, with investors lured into an appealing P/E ratio across that index below 10:1. Similar valuations exist in Chinese shares, offering a high-risk-high-reward dynamic for investors: a strong will is a requirement before jumping into Asian markets however, because volatility will stay the norm.

The Middle Kingdom: China will struggle for as long as the trade-war rages, but on balance policy markets appear well equipped to tackle the matter. Overnight it was announced that the Chinese government would include a greater number of financial institutions “systemically important” (read: too big to fail), to offset the weekend’s credit-boosting endeavour of cutting the Reserve Ratio Requirement. The slip of the off-shore Yuan to around 6.93 last night also suggests the PBOC will calmly and gradually let the currency ease to support China’s growth. Although lost in the bloodbath last night, commodities prices, down on aggregate apparently due to the tumble in oil, are displaying signs of some green shoots: industrial metals are broadly of off their lows, suggesting some signs of optimism toward Chinese growth and the region’s markets.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Find articles by writer

  • Aaran Fronda
    London
  • Andreas Ruhlmann
    Ginevra
  • Angela Teng
    Singapore
  • Anzél Killian
    Johannesburg
  • Barbara Vacher
    Paris
  • Becca Cattlin
    London
  • Ben Kelly
    London
  • Callum Cliffe
    London
  • Chris Beauchamp
    London
  • Christopher Vecchio
    New York City
  • Christos Maloussis
    Ginevra
  • Claire Williamson
    Johannesburg
  • Daniel Dubrovsky
    San Francisco
  • Daniel Smyth
    London
  • Daniela Sabin Hathorn
    London
  • David Song
    New York City
  • Elizabeth Díaz Zúñiga
    Johannesburg
  • Franz Gmeiner
    Johannesburg
  • Grethe Kemp
    London
  • Ilya Spivak
    New York City
  • James Stanley
    New York City
  • Jeremy Naylor
    London
  • Jingyi Pan
    Singapore
  • John Bollinger
    Chicago
  • John Kicklighter
    New York City
  • Joshua Mahony
    London
  • Joshua Warner
    London
  • Justin McQueen
    London
  • Kathryn Gaw
    London
  • Katya Stead
    Johannesburg
  • Kelvin Ong
    Singapore
  • Kyle Rodda
    Australia
  • Mahmoud Alkudsi
    London
  • Margaret Yang
    Singapore
  • Martin Essex
    London
  • Michael Boutros
    New York City
  • Monte Safieddine
    Dubai
  • Nick Cawley
    London
  • Nyandabeh Ella Vincent
    Chicago
  • Pam Claasen
    Johannesburg
  • Patrick Foot
    Bristol
  • Paul Robinson
    New York
  • Reo Liao
    Australia
  • Rich Dvorak
    Chicago
  • Richard Snow
    Johannesburg
  • Sam Dickens
    London
  • Shane Walton
    Australia
  • Shannon Correia
    Johannesburg
  • Shaun Murison
    Johannesburg
  • Sibulele Sikuni
    London
  • Tammy Da Costa
    Johannesburg
  • Ted Jackson
    Chicago
  • Thomas Westwater
    New York City
  • Timothy Joubert
    Johannesburg
  • Travis Robson
    Johannesburg
  • Victoria Scholar
    London
  • Victoria Scholar
    London
  • Warren Venketas
    Johannesburg
  • Will Hall-Smith
    London
  • Yeap Jun Rong
    Singapore

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited and IG Markets South Africa Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. International accounts are offered by IG Markets Limited in the UK (FCA Number 195355), a juristic representative of IG Markets South Africa Limited (FSP No 41393). South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance and may not use credit or debit cards to fund their international account.

window.$CQ = window.jQuery; window.IG = window.IG || {}; window.IG.cq = window.IG.cq || {};
{"@context":"http://schema.org","@type":"NewsArticle","mainEntityOfPage":"https://www.ig.com/za/news-and-trade-ideas/indices-news/trader-thoughts---the-long-and-short-of-it-181011","headline":"Trader thoughts - the long and short of it","image":{"@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://a.c-dn.net/c/content/dam/publicsites/igcom/uk/images/ContentImage/BG_stock_market_trader_Frankfurt_DAX.jpg/1536048951662.jpg","height":2666,"width":4000},"publisher":{"@type":"Organization","name":"IG","logo":{"@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://a.c-dn.net/c/etc/designs/onedomain/20082020/images/IG-60x70.png","height":60,"width":60}},"datePublished":"2018-10-11T00:42:11+0100","dateModified":"2018-10-11T00:42:11+0100","author":{"@type":"Person","name":"Kyle Rodda"},"description":"

Volatility is up, and risk appetite has been dulled. The VIX traded towards the 22 figure overnight, while currency safe havens such as the Yen were sought amid a somewhat remarkable sell-off across global equities during the European and North American sessions.

\n","isAccessibleForFree":"True"} if(document.cookie.indexOf('userGdprLevel={"userLevel":"1"')>0){window["optimizely"]=window["optimizely"]||[];window.optimizely.push(["skipPageTracking"]);window["optimizely"].push(["optOutThirdPartyCookies"])}