Sniffing Protectionism in the Wind

The politics of global trade is emitting more noise in recent days, so it’s worth a quick note here. Seems BOJ unilateral intervention has ruffled feathers around the globe, with policy makers expressing (real or feigned) consternation.  How much real effect it will have is debatable – yen:dollar is hanging in around the 1.44 level, and the blip north of 1.48 seems to have been nothing more than a brief deviation.

The important part, however, is that the anti-China rhetoric that keeps coming back into view, is in the headlines again. For holders of many Chinese stocks, funds, and ETFs, it hasn’t been a particularly good year, but the debate about prospects going forward, like that in the US markets, is inconclusive. You have to think that any real move toward more protectionist policies is going to tip that balance rather decisively toward the bearish view. With that in mind, stay alert, monitor the news flow, and watch those Chinese assets. I have mine on a short leash.

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