The “Great Rotation”

Evidence that the “Great Rotation” is finally beginning to take place has been established. Capital is finding its way into US equities as reflected in recent flow data while flooding out of Treasuries and other fixed income instruments. However, another rotation of sorts is also taking place, with emerging market assets, both bonds and equities, continuing to register outflows much of which appears to be returning to the US.

Given that the Fed has helped to ease the transition process towards tapering, finally managing to establish effective communication with markets, there is little to suggest that this rotation will reverse. Indeed, the US equity risk premium remains high (ie bonds still look expensive relative to equities) despite the recent correction. Nonetheless, US bond yields pulled back last week (10 year yields have fallen by around 15 bps over the last two weeks) a factor that is also helping to take the wind out of the USD’s sails.

Events and data this week are unlikely to alter the dynamics noted above. US data will remain upbeat, with housing market data remaining positive; existing home sales will edge higher while new home sales will drop but largely due to low inventories, while durable goods orders will register solid gains, and Michigan consumer confidence will be revised higher.

Data in Europe will look less impressive but still encouraging as the German IFO and various purchasing managers’ indices record gains, albeit of an uneven nature. More distressing is the ongoing political travails in Spain, Portugal and Italy, factors that will likely continue to undermine Eurozone markets although EUR/USD will likely remain supported due to the recent softening in US yields.

In Japan, the political picture is now clearer, with an unsurprisingly solid election victory for Prime Minister Abe’s LDP, winning a majority in the Upper House with its partner New Komeito. Ultimately this should play for firmer Japanese assets and a weaker JPY although markets will now look for a clear reform strategy to justify such moves.

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