Market Risk Report – Juin 2018

Market Risk report du mois de juin: Calmer Waters.

We’ve now seen two mini-crises this year: the inverse VIX meltdown in February, and more recently the Italian potential-euro-exit last month. We make two observations: first, in both cases real negative news actually negatively impacted asset prices, as it should, but didn’t in 2017. We take this as positive. Second, the impact was remarkably contained: in the first case almost entirely to equities, and in the second to Italian bonds and equities, and to a lesser extent the euro. What we haven’t seen this year, in fact haven’t seen since late 2015, is a broad-based sell-off, despite several potential causes (trade war, North Korea). We are a little more concerned by this: markets seem slightly too complacent to us.

As eurozone PMI’s and GDP estimates have eased recently, we could also expect a slower exit from QE by the ECB, which should remain supportive of asset prices. The US economy remains strong though, so we might expect to see increasing divergence in inflation and bond yields, and possibly an even stronger dollar. But overall we see less reason to expect higher volatility in the next month or so.

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