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Tue, 17th January 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “donald trump” Tag

Daiwa to launch ‘Trump-related’ mutual fund

Daiwa Asset Management is set to start operating a mutual fund that invests in stocks related to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s infrastructure investment policy. Daiwa will launch the product on Tuesday.

The open-end mutual fund — the first of its kind in Japan since Trump’s election victory in November 2016 — is likely to be made available to retail investors by the end of the month.

 The U.S. infrastructure builder equity fund, which invests in U.S. companies, will quantify how much each stock will benefit from Trump’s infrastructure policy, based on criteria such as sales ratio in the U.S. and the degree of obsolescence of the target infrastructure. The details of the portfolio will be determined by how much share prices are undervalued and how competitive the companies are.

The portfolio, comprising 30-50 companies — mostly in the construction, transport and materials sectors — will be adjusted as appropriate as Trump’s policy takes form.

Trump has pledged to spend $1 trillion to overhaul the country’s aging infrastructure over the next decade.

Priebus: Trump “Accepts” That Russia Played A Role In Election Hacking

In a surprising twist, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday on Fox News that President-elect Donald Trump accepts that Russia played a role in hacking the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta.

Priebus, the former RNC chairman, said Trump understands that Moscow was behind the intrusions into the Democratic Party organizations. “He accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia so that’s not the issue” and added that Trump “is not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular hacking campaign.”

“But here’s the thing that I think everyone needs to understand — when this whole thing started, it started from the Russians 50 years ago … This is something that’s been going on in our elections for many, many years.” Priebus said it “happens every election period.”

“In this particular case, it started way back in 2015 before either nominee of either party was chosen,” Priebus said. “And it started … as a spearfishing expedition over many different institutions.”

Additionaly, Priebus blasted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for its lack of IT defenses. The DNC was warned multiple times by the FBI before being hacked, Priebus added, and officials didn’t respond. “So yes, we have bad actors around the world,” Priebus said.”But we also have a problem when we have a major political institution that allows foreign governments into their system with hardly any defenses or training.”

As Reuters notes, Priebus’ comments marked a major shift in the official Trump narrative: the president elect has repeatedly dismissed claims that the Russians were trying to help him, arguing that those charges are the product of his political opponents trying to undermine his victory. 

So far, Trump has only indirectly acknowledged the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election and has consistently downplayed its significance — and the president-elect has a history of later contradicting what his surrogates tell the media.

On Friday morning, shortly before being briefed by US intelligence, Trump tweeted that “Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!” He then tweeted two follow-up comments, first that “Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!” followed by “Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!”

After the briefing, Trump stated, “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”

China “Shocked” By Navarro Appointment, As Trump Team Proposes 10% Import Tariff

As the FT first reported yesetrday, in a dramatic development for Sino-US relations, Trump picked Peter Navarro, a Harvard-trained economist and one-time daytrader, to head the National Trade Council, an organization within the White House to oversee industrial policy and promote manufacturing. Navarro, a hardcore China hawk, is the author of books such as “Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World” has for years warned that the US is engaged in an economic war with China and should adopt a more aggressive stance, a message that the president-elect sold to voters across the US during his campaign.

 

In the aftermath of Navarro’s appointment, many were curious to see what China’s reaction would be, and according to the FT, Beijin’s response has been nothing short of “shocked.” To wit:

 The appointment of Peter Navarro, a campaign adviser, to a formal White House post shocked Chinese officials and scholars who had hoped that Mr Trump would tone down his anti-Beijing rhetoric after assuming office.

“Chinese officials had hoped that, as a businessman, Trump would be open to negotiating deals,” said Zhu Ning, a finance professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “But they have been surprised by his decision to appoint such a hawk to a key post.”

BOJ taking ‘a step forward,’ says Kuroda

The Bank of Japan revised its economic outlook for the first time in 19 months during the two-day policy meeting that ended Tuesday. But that is apparently the only step the central bank is taking at this time.

“The headwinds seen in the first half of this year have ceased,” BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters following the meeting. Markets were riled by heightened concerns directed at emerging economies at the beginning of 2016, only to be shocked in June by Britain’s referendum to exit the European Union. The BOJ was forced to loosen its policy in July, raising its target for exchange-traded fund purchases.

 During the second half of 2016, the economic landscape has slowly brightened, beginning with U.S. readings. The Japanese economy has followed suit with increased exports and production. Consumption also recovered from a slump caused by a soft stock market and inclement weather at the beginning of the year.

“Japan’s economy has continued its moderate recovery trend,” the BOJ said in a statement published after the meeting. The central bank had previously qualified that view by highlighting sluggish exports and production.

China will give back seized drone, criticises U.S. “hyping up” the issue

China’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday it had been in talks with the United States about returning an underwater drone taken by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but the U.S. was not helping by “hyping up” the issue.

The drone was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines, just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), U.S. officials said.

The Defence Ministry said a Chinese naval vessel discovered a piece of “unidentified equipment” and checked it to prevent any navigational safety issues, before discovering it was a U.S. drone.

“China decided to return it to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner, and China and the U.S. have all along been in communication about it,” the ministry said on its website.

“During this process, the U.S. side’s unilateral and open hyping up is inappropriate, and is not beneficial to the smooth resolution of this issue. We express regret at this,” it added.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump weighed in to the row on Saturday, tweeting: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.”

Without directly saying whether the drone was operating in waters China considers its own, the ministry said U.S. ships and aircraft have for a long period been carrying out surveillance and surveys in “the presence” of Chinese waters.

“China is resolutely opposed to this, and demands the U.S. stops this kind of activity,” it said.

China will remain on alert for these sorts of activities and take necessary steps to deal with them, the ministry said without elaborating.

Earlier, the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, cited an unidentified Chinese source as saying they believed the issue would be resolved smoothly.

The United States says the drone was operating lawfully.

Central Banker Sees “Scary” 2017

 Barron’s Asia: When you look ahead to 2017, what keeps you awake at night?

Amando Tetangco: Short term, the Fed rate hikes — the timing and the magnitude. Of course, this would be related to the policies that the new U.S. administration will adopt. Medium-to-long term, the retreat from multi-lateralism. That is related to the performance of the global economy – the major and various economies, and emerging markets like China.

“Scary stuff” – that’s not the kind of utterance one would expect to hear from a central banker, but in this interview posted on Barron’s Asia with Amando Tetangco of the Philippines, “scary” is just how the central banker defines the increasingly chaotic global environment. Between Donald Trump’s shock election, Brexit, Italians showing their prime minister the door and fallout from quantitative-easing programs, 2016 has been an unusually unruly year. Will 2017 be a kinder, gentler one? Sadly no, says the governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Barron’s Asia sat down with Tetangco in his Manila office to hear why “scary” days lie ahead.

Barron’s Asia: Many are so happy to see the back of 2016, a year of epochal political upheaval. It’s been a year when lots of financial relationships broke down, with messages from bond yields to stock prices to how oil prices affect markets going haywire. Is the worst over or are we in for rockier times in 2017?

Tetangco: I think it’s more of the latter. You mentioned politics. I think that’s a major consideration right now because it’s causing some uncertainty with this potential rise in populist policies – uncertainty because it is going to be difficult to frame economic policy when something isn’t clear. Among the important considerations in this regard would be Brexit. We don’t know yet how this is going to pan out.

Six quick things to watch in the FOMC decision

1) Watch the clock

The FOMC decision is out at 2 pm ET (1900 GMT). At the same time, the Fed releases the dot plot and its new round of economic projections. Roughly 30 minutes later, Janet Yellen hosts a press conference.

2) The dot dance

Where the dots are located doesn’t matter. The Fed has been higher than the market since the inception of the dot plot and has always been wrong. What matters is the movement in the overall plot. If the blue dots generally move higher, it’s a hawkish signal. If they stay where they were in September, that will be USD negative.

Overnight US Market :Dow Closed +40 points

Stocks closed mixed Monday as the Dow hit a new all-time high and as oil prices jumped after several non-OPEC countries agreed to join the cartel in cutting output and as investors focused on interest rates. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq snapped 6-day winning streaks and retreated from record highs.

Investors were also focusing on interest rates as Federal Reserve  policymakers meet this week and most economists expect the Fed to announce a rate hike at the conclusion of the 2-day meeting on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.58 points, or 0.2%, to a record close of 19,796.43, according to preliminary calculations. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.1% to 2256.96,  after rising in early trading to set a new intraday record. The Nasdaq composite index dropped fell 0.6% to 5412.54.

Energy stocks got a boost as the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil jumped 2.6% to $52.83 a barrel as oil-producing countries outside of OPEC agreed to reduce production by 558,000 barrels per day. That comes after OPEC countries agreed in November to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels per day.

US 10-yr Treasury yield hits highest in at least 18 months

The sell-off in government bonds continues, with US Treasuries leading Asian counterparts lower on Monday and ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates later this week.

The yield (which moves inversely to price) on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury rose as much as 2.74 basis points in morning trade today to 2.4949 per cent.

That level is not quite enough to surpass the intraday high of 2.4985 per cent hit on June 11, 2015, but it puts it on track to be the highest closing level since September 2014, which also happens to be the most recent month when yields closed above 2.5 per cent.

Yields on government bonds have galloped higher since Donald Trump won the US election, with markets taking the view his economic policies would spur inflation. That has blunted demand for haven investments, such as Treasuries, the Japanese yen and gold.

More broadly, the inflation outlook in the US has been picking up this year such that markets think the Federal Reserve will be comfortable with lifting interest rates by 25 basis points at their policy meeting on Wednesday, the first increase in a year.

Won’t allow H1B visa holders to replace US workers: Donald Trump

President-elect Donald Trump has said he would not allow Americans to be replaced by foreign workers, in an apparent reference to cases like that of Disney World and other American companies wherein people hired on H-1B visas, including Indians, displaced US workers.

“We will fight to protect every last American life,” Trump told thousands of his supporters in Iowa on Thursday as he referred to the cases of Disney world and other US companies.

“During the campaign I also spent time with American workers who were laid off and forced to train. The foreign workers brought in to replace them. We won’t let this happen anymore,” Trump vowed amidst cheers and applause from the audience.

“Can you believe that? You get laid off and then they won’t give you your severance pay unless you train the people that are replacing you. I mean, that’s actually demeaning maybe more than anything else,” he said.

Disney World and two outsourcing companies have been slapped with a federal lawsuit by two of its former technology staff, alleging that they conspired to displace American workers with cheaper foreign labour brought to the US on H-1B visas, mostly from India.