May, 04 2017 by lsr team

China remains the key country as far as future gas demand growth is concerned. However, countries such as India and Pakistan as well as South East Asia are emerging as other major sources of demand. With global gas markets changing and becoming increasingly liberalized, LNG is set to dominate supplies into the Asian market.

March, 24 2017 by lsr team

We believe investors have stopped worrying about secular stagnation but are convinced the ‘new neutral’ will keep bond yields at very low levels. While the global economy looks structurally deflationary, there is still a cycle in inflation and interest rates. And the major economies may not be as rate sensitive as everyone assumes.

March, 09 2017 by lsr team

Xi Jinping promised in November 2015, that the economy would grow at 6.5% through to 2020. This was necessary, he said, to fulfill a promise by his predecessor, Hu Jintao, to double the 2010 GDP and per capita income by the end of the decade. However, over the past year, there have been several signs that Xi might be willing to back away from this pledge. After recent conversations in Beijing, we believe:
• Policymakers will accept growth below 6.5% from next year. 
• The change responds to a wide-scale recognition that the current rapid pace of...

February, 24 2017 by lsr team

Jonathan Fenby sets out 12 reasons why China feels good: 1. China’s economy is ticking over on a cyclical reflation path with sharp PPI recovery coming through.
2. Though it will get worse in absolute terms, the debt problem has been diffused for now by shifting it away from banks and local governments.
3. Currency outflows have moderated for the time being. The housing sector is heading for a correction not a meltdown.
4. Preparations for the Communist Party Congress in late 2017 seem to be on track with no challenge to Xi as he moves into his...

February, 10 2017 by lsr team

- Trade dispute with US to peak in 12 months - Trump deal could be 45% tariff on "non-essential" goods - Chinese trade surplus to fall from 2018 - RMB policy will be undermined - FDI will decline and then retreat

February, 03 2017 by lsr team

Dario Perkins answers your questions on Trump policy:

- How far are markets underestimating President Trump's protectionsit tendencies?
- Is America really getting a bad trade deal?
- What are the Trump trade scenarios?
- How relevant is the 1930s experience?
- How would a possible trade war be different now?
- How might China respond?
- If major RMB devaluation what impact on the US & the global economy?

January, 27 2017 by lsr team

Successful renegotiation of NAFTA is likely but will not provide the template for the US administration’s future China policies. - US-Mexican trade is dominated by global value chains. US-sourced content in Mexican exports to the US is 40% so it is impossible for Trump to realize his threats to impose border taxes on Mexico without causing major damage to US manufacturing jobs. - This makes a successful renegotiation of NAFTA both possible and probable. - But the same cannot be said about US-China trade, which lacks such well-developed channels for trade. As...

December, 21 2016 by lsr team

Highlights
- EMs to benefit from US and Chinese reflation in 2017
- But global macro ‘push’ factors set to recede thereafter
- Mature US recovery at risk from tighter monetary conditions
- Beijing’s debt-RMB dilemma pressing as the mini-cycle turns
- Global search for yield to persist, albeit tempered
- Lift-off growth phase elusive for North Asia’s exporters
- Clogged rate and FX channels leave fiscal stimulus option

October, 28 2016 by lsr team

The PBoC’s trade-weighted RMB basket has weakened by a little over 8% since its launch last December. The drop has been orderly, in line with Beijing’s intentions. However, the low-hanging fruit from RMB depreciation has already been picked. Despite successively weaker CNY fixings against the dollar, the RMB basket has failed to decline since late August and this month it has been creeping higher. What is causing this divergence? Is it sustainable, and what does it mean for Beijing’s policy choices?

October, 14 2016 by lsr team

The euro area LI continues to put in an above consensus call. It is probably over predicting growth somewhat but its strength is fundamentally underpinned by the newly emerged German locomotive. While German demand often turns out to be derived from others, chiefly China, in this case it is genuine. In fact, this is highlighted by our below consensus Australia call. China’s stimulus has not fed through to a rebound in private demand, although easing PPI deflation is helping manufacturers.

September, 16 2016 by lsr team

Emerging market growth has been on a downward trend for just over half a decade. The slowdown probably bottomed out at the end of last year. On an aggregate basis, the advance in EM annual real GDP accelerated to 3.9% in Q2 from 2.4% in Q3 2015. Is this the start of a sustained rebound in EM growth? Click above to watch the full video or below for our latest report on emerging markets.

August, 19 2016 by lsr team

In previous notes we have stressed how important supply-side rebalancing is for the success of China’s demand side revolution. Beijing’s longer-term intention is clear: it aims to proceed with supply-side reforms.  But what would happen to the labour market if Beijing went for a full blown, Austrian-style rebalancing of the supply side? What if they allowed failures to go under and ailing firms to restructure in a market-oriented way? How many jobs would be under threat from such a process? Click above to watch the full video or below for the full report...

July, 27 2016 by lsr team

Since March, we have consistently made the argument for yield-seeking as opposed to growth-seeking strategies, with a particular emphasis on emerging markets.The relative disregard that EM assets have displayed for the UK referendum result and yuan weakness to multi-year lows underscores the resilience of this ongoing rally. Two important questions for investors are: how long can the rally last and what is the biggest risk? Click above to watch the full video or below for our latest Macro Strategy report on EM carry.

July, 22 2016 by lsr team

Our preliminary estimates show that Chinese GDP growth stabilised at 6% in Q2. Domestic demand growth slowed to 5% in Q2, but offset by net trade. With the improvement in activity momentum largely a result of policy stimulus, it is highly questionable whether the government’s growth target can be achieved without fresh stimulus to boost investment. More worryingly, despite the recent stabilisation in industrial profits, private fixed asset investment growth has remained weak. With the outlook of domestic demand souring, companies are under pressure to deleverage an...

June, 02 2016 by lsr team

China’s rebalancing started only in 2015, with recent numbers showing significant progress in rebalancing from excessive saving and capex towards more consumer spending. Capex in 2015 fell by 1.8% of GDP, while gross savings dropped by 1%. This is the first concrete evidence of genuine rebalancing, but still remains small in relation to what is needed. Our Chief Economist, Charles Dumas explains how further rebalancing can be achieved through explicit yuan devaluation against the dollar and other major currencies. Click above to watch the full video. &...

May, 26 2016 by lsr team

The surprise rise in the yen and the less surprising rise in the euro this year have removed Ms. Yellen’s international concerns about why she should not be hiking interest rates. Specifically, a dollar spike now seems least of our concerns… Our Chief Economist, Charles Dumas talks us through the domestic conditions in the US and Euro area and the risks of rising bond yields by next year. These issues will be further discussed in our upcoming LSR View, stay tuned!  

May, 12 2016 by lsr team

Following a surge in new loans earlier this year, investors are concerned again about the sustainability of China’s debt. Severe producer price deflation and decimated profits show just how unproductive investment has been. The good news is that China’s total non-financial debt is still low compared to most advanced countries. However, China’s refusal to tackle zombie companies has caused a massive slowdown in productivity, compromising China’s ability to grow its way out of the debt problem…

April, 29 2016 by lsr team

Investor sentiment has started to perk up recently on the back of a series of strong data. On our preliminary estimate, Chinese GDP expanded 7.1% at an annualised rate in Q1. That is up from 5.5% in Q4 and is the fastest pace in almost two years. China’s economy has re-gained strength thanks to Beijing’s orchestrated policy stimulus. But how much longer can Beijing go on creating debt at a breakneck pace to generate growth? Click above to watch the full video.

April, 20 2016 by lsr team

The EM asset rally has been underpinned by a dovish Fed, receding fears of US recession and tentative evidence of macro stabilisation in China following a shift to pro-growth policies in Beijing. What has received less attention is the role played by recent yen appreciation, from both fundamental and risk angles. The onset of Abenomics weakened JPY/USD by some 40% in the space of three years. The yen bottomed in June, received a boost in the wake of August’s CNY step devaluation and embarked on a relatively steep appreciation path in December 2015 as global risk av...

April, 15 2016 by lsr team

Investor sentiment has started to perk up recently on the back of a series of strong data. With exports popping almost 20% year on year in March, heavily distorted by the Chinese New Year, a local journalist has asked if a U-shaped recovery in the economy was on the cards. Unfortunately, we are just at the beginning of yet another mini-cycle of the sort we have been through over the past couple of years. On our preliminary estimate, Chinese GDP expanded 7.1% at an annualised rate in Q1. That is up from 5.5% in Q4 and is the fastest pace in almost two years. What is the m...

April, 13 2016 by lsr team

Back in January, economists were gloomily warning about currency wars. The Bank of Japan had just announced negative interest rates and seemed to be threatening even lower – possibly much lower – rates to come. The ECB was set to respond at its meeting in March. And, of course, everyone was concerned about the prospect of a major Chinese devaluation. A few months after much of this talk has disappeared. There seems to be a ceasefire in the global currency ‘war’ and many economists attribute this to February’s G20 meeting in Shanghai. Even...

March, 31 2016 by lsr team

During March we spent time visiting our mainland Chinese clients in a number of cities. Understandably, many of these meetings became discussions on the yuan’s exchange rate. Right now the currency is overvalued. Our central expectation is that the yuan will decline to something like fair value over the coming 12 months through a combination of internal devaluation (PPI inflation of around -5%) and nominal depreciation of around 10%. While a gradual, ‘straight-line’ yuan depreciation would be in everyone’s interests, capital controls and a repeat...

March, 15 2016 by lsr team

The Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged today. The effect of negative interest rates on the currency in January was the opposite of that intended: the central bank’s aggressive adoption of negative deposit rates merely fuelled global angst at a critical juncture, driving repatriation flows into Japan and pushing up the currency. The ECB’s policy easing last week had a more beneficial effect on asset prices but has again left the currency unchanged, reinforcing the message for the BoJ. For Japan, where currency moves dominate the equity market, it’...

March, 09 2016 by lsr team

Improved risk sentiment is driving another rebound in EM assets. Investors have scaled back fears of a US recession, with Treasury yields now off recent lows and inflation breakeven rates bouncing from depressed levels. At the same time, China is loosening the fiscal taps, while the PBoC has shifted its focus back to boosting liquidity and credit. In turn, commodity prices have found a degree of stability. Market expectations for the path of Fed policy hit extremes in February. Since then, the US$ index (DXY) has turned higher, EM currencies have strengthened and oil pri...

February, 17 2016 by lsr team

Beijing has pledged to embark on the necessary reforms to lower debt levels in the economy. Yet the latest money and credit numbers show that Chinese banks expanded their loan books at a record pace at the start of 2016. In January, Chinese banks extended a whopping RMB2.5 trillion in new loans, or 4% of GDP. On a seasonally adjusted basis, RMB 1.6 trillion new loans were extended. Given that local government bond issuance has come to a halt ahead of a new debt swap programme, local government financing companies might have taken out bridge loans from banks to refinance...

February, 09 2016 by lsr team

Ironically, financial market turbulence has hit just as the world economy’s chances of rebalancing successfully had increased. We published our year ahead piece in early December with the title “Don’t panic!”, but investors returned to work after the holidays worried about China’s slowdown, collapsing oil prices, global debt unwinding and the dearth of policy options left open to leading central banks. Widespread anxiety pulled the rug from under asset prices. As is our tradition, we asked our clients in mid- January for their top questions...

January, 21 2016 by lsr team

Not all the countries have joined in the global currency war. To some of the currencies most exposed to the slowdown in Chinese growth and associated deflation currency pegs are a symbol of normalcy; a signal to investors and speculators alike that the strains wrought by falling prices are only temporary difficulties. No one should be fooled; at best these pegs are illusions of stability and in many cases are making a difficult position worse. In this note we look at the two dollar pegs frequently mentioned in client queries; the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) and the Saudi Arabian...

January, 18 2016 by lsr team

Charles Dumas, director at Lombard Street Research, discusses market reaction to the slowdown of the Chinese economy and what to expect as the yuan devalues. Click below to watch the video on Bloomberg.

January, 18 2016 by lsr team

The majority of investors have consistently been behind the curve on our Chinese slowdown story. Coming to terms with a series of negative surprises has led most to turn bearish on the global economy just as China’s leaders have actually taken the right policy steps. The bizarre expectation that Beijing could somehow engineer a difficult economic adjustment smoothly has inevitably disappointed investors, reinforcing their worries. Unfortunately, because of the huge obstacles in the way of a successful transition, the risk of an unnecessary economic crisis will grow if...

January, 13 2016 by lsr team

With the offshore Chinese yuan plunging to a five-year low against the dollar, how worried should we be? Freya Beamish, economist at Lombard Street Research, discusses the Chinese yuan and China’s economy. Click here to watch the video on CNBC.    

January, 11 2016 by lsr team

The stock market is fixated on China, as the deep convictions of the China bulls are progressively and painfully eviscerated. But their inability until recently to see the flaws in China’s post-crisis recovery is fomenting a new delusion: that China’s slowdown, and stock-market angst, will necessarily pull down the rest of the world’s economies and stock markets. In other words, the obsession with China has taken on a new form rather than faded, as it should have done: China is clearly important, but it is not all-important. Click below to find out how...

January, 08 2016 by lsr team

While it is always dangerous to extrapolate from the recent past, the consensus expects 2016 to look remarkably like 2015. The issues that have dominated market commentary over the past 12 months – EM weakness, global deflation and central bank divergence – remain the sellside’s favourite 2016 themes. There is also a surprising amount of agreement about what will happen. Growth will move sideways, inflation will remain too low and the divergence trade has further to run. T...

January, 06 2016 by lsr team

To Western investors, many sitting down in front of their terminals for the first time since the Christmas break, Monday’s sell-off was a reminder of the risks they will face during 2016. In fact, in 38 of the last 50 years the price action of US stocks in January has set the direction for the full year. So amid the anecdotes and clichés of popular market commentary, Monday’s plunge was reckoned to be especially significant. But how much did January 4 2016 really tell us about the rest of the year? Click below to find out why the wall of worry will be...

January, 04 2016 by lsr team

Happy New Year! Having sifted through various sell-side reports, we conclude that our emerging market view is more on the bearish side. While we have a constructive stance on some EMs, India and Mexico in particular, our general tone is still one of caution. For more details, please request a copy of our year-ahead piece -2016: Don’t panic, yet! In today’s note, we address three key questions: 1) Why are we more bearish than consensus on EMs? 2) What would make us more optimistic? 3) What would make us more negative? Click below to find out more.

December, 09 2015 by lsr team

Twelve months ago we said 2015 would be a year of ‘deceptive calm’. With the S&P 500 up 5% and US 10-year yields around 5bps higher, you could say our forecast was accurate. Markets spent much of the year in an anxious state, fretting about Greece, then China, then the risk of a synchronised global recession. In 2006 and 2007, LSR had a high conviction that a financial meltdown was about to wreak havoc on the global economy. This time around we stick with our 2015 theme ‘Keep Dancing’ but with no great conviction. Looking ahead to 2016, China...

November, 30 2015 by lsr team

With economists across the City busy finalising their big what-will-happen in 2016 publications, LSR likes to revisit what we wrote 12 months ago and see how those views panned out. This is useful not only because it highlights our successes but also it provides a way to explain our clients what we got wrong. Of course, this breaks one of the golden rules of sell-side economics – never admit when you’re wrong - but we believe it is a way of providing intellectual consistency. Clients can usually forgive economists for changing their mind, as long as they can exp...

November, 25 2015 by lsr team

Last week we published our LSR View explaining why US growth is likely to accelerate into 2016 and that, by inference, recent scares about the potential for a US recession are greatly overplayed. We think US real GDP growth is set to quicken to 2½ -3% from the 2% average of the past five years. This exceeds most current estimates of US growth potential and fully justifies the Federal Reserve’s expected rate increases. Rapidly growing household spending, on housing as well as consumption, plus an end to five years of fiscal drag will be the main engines of gr...

November, 24 2015 by lsr team

Beginning in the early 1970s, Japan embarked on a long quest to reform its financial sector. Liberalisation in one area brought unintended consequences in others. Excessive leverage and regulations that failed to keep up with changes inevitably led to a crisis. Today, China has come to a point where financial reform is critical. While China does not have Japan’s luxury to pursue financial reform gradually, Japan’s experience however could shed some light. We visit Japan’s story and look at its implications and what China could do to avoid Japan’s...

November, 18 2015 by lsr team

Last week we summarised the first panel discussion of our recent conference in New York, “The New Abnormal: American monetary policy and China’s liberalisation”. The second panel addressed the question of whether China’s financial transformation would be “a boon or a curse for the world economy”. LSR’s own Diana Choyleva was joined by Chinese political analyst TL Tsim and Fraser Howie, co-author of “Red Capitalism”. The panellists agreed that the process of financial market reform had reached a critical point, exempli...

November, 03 2015 by lsr team

The IMF is expected to announce its decision on whether to add the yuan to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket of major global currencies as soon as this month. The omens are good, especially as China has announced a spate of measures aimed at winning the IMF’s approval. Joining the SDR could generate demand for yuan assets that would help ease heavy capital outflows. If China is denied entry, the chances of a yuan devaluation will rise sharply, boding ill for the world economy. So what does it mean if the yuan is included in the SDR? Click below to find out....

October, 27 2015 by lsr team

China’s economy has entered a critical period in its post-crisis adjustment, posing serious risks for the rest of the world. Our final GDP estimate shows Chinese growth at just 0.4% QoQ in Q3, the weakest since the Global Financial Crisis. Its sharp growth slowdown, feeding through into a deterioration in the labour market, will be a stern test of Beijing’s resolve to reform in coming quarters.  So far policymakers have stayed firm. The central bank cut interest rates and banks’ required reserve ratio (RRR) last Friday in a bid to support grow...

October, 20 2015 by lsr team

Concerns over a slowing China and its knock-on effects on other emerging markets (EMs) have triggered stock market turmoil in advanced economies over the past two months. Investors have started to question whether developed economies, including the UK, can shrug off EM weakness. Meanwhile, expectations of the first Bank of England interest rate hike have now been pushed back to December 2016. What are the impacts of a slowing China on the UK? Will the slowdown in EM growth led by China hinder UK’s domestic-led recovery?  Click below to find out.  

October, 12 2015 by lsr team

Over the past three years, Beijing under the leadership of Xi Jinping has changed the direction of its economic policy decisively. Alone among the world’s major savers, China has embarked on necessary but painful reforms rather than opt for competitive devaluation. Despite much weaker growth, overall policy has been tight. By Chinese standards, progress on financial liberalisation has been swift. However, the ultimate success of China’s policy drive will depend on three big IFs. To find out more about whether China will be able to rebalance and help the globa...

October, 06 2015 by lsr team

The emerging market (EM) slowdown that started in 2011 and gathered pace after the taper tantrums of 2013 continues unabated. The two questions investors often asked over the last couple of years have been: are EMs heading for a 1990s-style crash and is the worst behind us? We have replied No to both, and the follow-up question has usually been ‘how much more pain is in store?’ This has been tough to answer. Our latest publication - LSR View looks at the extent of the adjustments that EMs still need to make by answering the following set of questions: 1) W...

September, 28 2015 by lsr team

Seven years after the global financial crisis, the world still lacks genuine consumer demand, growth remains subdued and major central banks’ policy is in “emergency” mode. Is the world economy on the cusp of another crisis, facing prolonged secular stagnation, or about to experience a falling-price boom? Two of the main market drivers in the next five years will be China’s financial liberalization and integration into global markets, and the search for a new monetary policy orthodoxy. We are fortunate to have four exceptional speakers to explore the...

September, 16 2015 by lsr team

When oil prices crashed last winter, the world’s major central banks were planning to ‘look through’ this development. They argued the impact would be temporary, with inflation quick to rebound. This view has been broadly correct- inflation in developed economies is close to a trough and should rise by early 2016 thanks to favourable base effects. That said, the global economy is clearly more deflationary than policymakers anticipated at the start of the year. Meanwhile, China’s slump has caused a broader EM downturn, which is weighing heavily on...

September, 14 2015 by lsr team

In our recent publications, we noted that the selloff in US stocks in the aftermath of China’s devaluation had taken the market deep into oversold territory, and that a rebound in the near term was looking very likely. In the following days equities duly bounced back and, while volatility remains elevated, S&P500 futures are now up 4.5% from the August lows. After the rebound, US equities are no longer blatantly oversold. Although less than a third of the S&P500’s constituents remain above their 200-day moving average (the lowest proportion since 2011...

September, 10 2015 by lsr team

A weaker currency is good news for overvalued and overinvested China, but a collapsing yuan will be a disaster for all. According to data from the Bank for International Settlements, international bank claims on China fell by $120 billion in the three quarters to Q1 2015. The past five quarters have also seen record-high net capital outflows of $440 billion. Capital flight has intensified after Beijing announced that it will allow its currency to be driven by market forces, starting with an initial 1.9% depreciation on the 11th of August. So far the authorities have allo...

September, 08 2015 by lsr team

China’s economic transformation is a game-changer for the world economy. Recent market jitters have shown that investors have now begun to acknowledge the sharp growth slowdown we forecast. Yet confusion and uncertainty abound as most regard China’s economy and politics a black box. China’s equity market crash, the authorities’ panic intervention and the growth slowdown have undermined confidence in China’s economy and policymaking. But it seems investors’ own fear is now preventing them from seeing the big picture and important change...

September, 07 2015 by lsr team

Financial markets are right to be obsessed with China’s prospects. But they may be plain wrong to assume that the current Chinese slowdown is bad for global prospects: either of stock markets or the economy. On the contrary, China’s grotesque economic distortions have been major contributors to the sluggishness of world growth. Their correction should benefit most of us, not just China itself. China’s excessive, wasteful capex now being curbed, have been a major cause of weak recovery. The widespread assumption that reducing these excesses will be bad f...

September, 02 2015 by lsr team

We have warned of painful adjustments and weaker currencies in EMs, most recently in our 2015 outlook. Our own LSR EM FX index is down 11% against the dollar since the start of the year, and even China has dipped a toe in the tempting waters of currency depreciation. In real terms, many EM currencies are still overvalued. Our analysis suggests that a further 9% real depreciation of the LSR EM FX index would be required just to make EMs as competitive as in late 1990s. The important question here to ask is whether US policy can support the large scale EM devaluati...

August, 27 2015 by lsr team

As we approach the crucial September Fed meeting, the debate about whether the Fed will/ should raise interest rates has intensified.  Even before the recent drama in global markets, a clear split had emerged on the FOMC about whether it was time to attempt lift-off. Now, domestic US data still justify a move, but jittery markets and the slowdown in China, which will intensify global goods deflation, suggest it might be prudent to wait a few more months. The decision looks finely balanced and might come down to how markets behave over the next few weeks. Our report...

August, 26 2015 by lsr team

The market has focused its attention on the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) interest rate and RRR cut. But more importantly, we also saw another move by the PBoC that reinforces its commitment to allowing the market to play a bigger role. The central bank scrapped the ceiling on rates for deposits of more than one year. This follows the change in the exchange rate regime announced on August 11th, in conjunction with a 1.9% depreciation of the renminbi, aimed at nurturing a more market-driven currency. What does this mean for China and its currency? Click belo...

August, 24 2015 by lsr team

The yuan devaluation has set in motion a chain of events that ultimately resulted in the current selloff in global risk assets. Emerging markets, already underperforming for much of the past few years, took the first hit. The liquidation is now spreading to developed markets, with most equity indices down more than 10% in under a week. Market volatility should not be a surprise at this stage of the cycle. As the chart above shows, rich valuations tend to correlate with deeper and more frequent market gyrations. What is it then that explains the violence in market moves t...

August, 24 2015 by lsr team

The recent devaluation of the yuan appears to have been the main reason why expectations of a Fed rate rise been pushed back. As recently as mid-June a hike of 25bp by the end of 2015 was fully priced in, but that has now been pushed back to Q1 2016. Given the increasing FX uncertainty and global deflation, we think there is a significant risk that investors could perceive an earlier-than-expected rise in Fed rates as a policy mistake. There is already some evidence of this concern, with long-term breakeven inflation rates falling to post-crisis lows as two-year yields h...

August, 21 2015 by lsr team

A 3% depreciation in the yuan (CNY) is, per se, hardly a game changer for global markets. But the move could have broader implications, certainly in the near term – not least as Japan and the euro area are firmly in easing mode. Sustained CNY depreciation will send disinflationary impulses to the rest of the world, complicating EM policymakers’ task and magnifying risks around domestic EM leverage.  To find out more about how a weaker yuan amplifies the EM ‘slow burn’ challenges we have identified in the past, click below.  

August, 19 2015 by lsr team

Emerging markets are grappling with deficient global demand, souring domestic fundamentals, a strong dollar and potentially higher US real rates. A lower yuan creates a ‘perfect’ storm for most EMs, at least in the short term.  Our analysis has consistently highlighted Malaysia as one of the more vulnerable Asian economies and the sharp depreciation of the ringgit validates our concerns. The collapse in the global oil price, a sharp increase in leverage and poor FX reserves ammunition are some of the reasons. Besides, idiosyncratic risks have esc...

August, 19 2015 by lsr team

China’s decision to devalue the yuan last week may have been a surprise in terms of timing and mechanics, but we have been expecting a decline in the currency for some time. The size of the drop falls short of what would be needed to declare a currency war, but the risks of one happening at some point have increased. Our asset allocation (AA) stance remains skewed towards developed equities, but we tone down our bullishness slightly this month. Meanwhile, we would like to highlight the strong performance of our AA model portfolio (+8.6%) versus the benchmark (-0.9%...

August, 13 2015 by lsr team

China joins currency wars, just as the Fed prepares to raise rates. The move in the yuan over the last couple of days is the sharpest since the steep devaluation of 1994, which is often cited as one of the first actions that ultimately led to a widespread emerging market financial crisis. The start of the Fed’s rate rise cycle during the same year was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What does it bode for emerging markets this time around? Please click below for the full report.  

August, 11 2015 by lsr team

The People’s Bank of China fixed the yuan rate at the top of yesterday’s trading range, pushing the currency down by 1.9% against the dollar. In their statement today, the authorities said the change would help drive the currency towards more market-driven movements. As we have previously argued, growth has weakened sharply under the burden of the overvalued yuan and capacity excesses while monetary conditions remain tight. Although the economy desperately needs a weaker currency, joining the other saver economies -Japan and the euro area- in the global currency...

August, 10 2015 by lsr team

China’s overall monetary conditions have been kept tight for some time now with broad money growth - the best indicator of overall monetary conditions in an economy, slowing to its lowest rate on record in recent months. Despite the introduction of new monetary policy tools – SLO, SLF, MLF, PSL, etc by the People’s Bank of China over the past few years, liquidity injection through these facilities has not been large. Meanwhile, real lending rates are high and capital is flowing out of the country. While many have argued that China is witnessing capital...

July, 24 2015 by lsr team

In his latest round-the-world trip over the past couple of weeks, our Chairman, Charles Dumas visited Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. A frequently recurring question was how the current US recovery might be blighted by huge Chinese adjustments, just when it appears to be getting properly established. He remains bullish on US stocks for the next year or so but is warning that we expect Chinese problems and USD strength to hamper stocks in the medium-term.    Click below to find out more about Charles’ latest views on th...

July, 20 2015 by lsr team

While China’s official Q2 real GDP growth beat market expectations, our estimates showed that the economy expanded at an even stronger pace in Q2 with real GDP growing at a quarterly annualised rate of 7.3%.  But the economy is far from staging a decisive turnaround. The equity market collapse will reverberate throughout the economy in H2 and consequently threatens to derail reforms. Our central muddle-through scenario is for growth of around 4-5%, with risks on the downside. To find out more on why we think China’s growth is unlikely to rebound and...

July, 15 2015 by lsr team

The recent fall in oil prices has been attributed to a combination of faltering Chinese growth and the prospect of a suspension of Iranian sanctions following the recent Iran nuclear deal. Our analysis, however suggests otherwise. As our own Chinese real GDP series shows, Chinese growth has already been very weak for around a year; furthermore oil market analysts have pointed out that, even in the event of a full suspension of sanctions, Iran will not be in a position to have a material impact on global supply for many years. So what are the driving forces behind the retrea...

July, 09 2015 by lsr team

The Greek No vote and the Chinese stock rout are key setbacks to investor sentiment. With the Greek public voting NO in the referendum and the subsequent reaction of several influential political leaders on the creditors side, the tone has now shifted towards containing the contagion if a deal cannot be reached. While a deal is still our base case (albeit with reduced conviction), we deem it prudent to reduce portfolio risk given the increasing uncertainty regarding the direction of the Greek negotiations. We regard contagion risks as manageable and intend to ramp up our ex...

July, 06 2015 by lsr team

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) simultaneously cut its benchmark lending rate and reserve requirement ratio a week ago in response to the country’s slowing economy and sharp fluctuations in the stock market. This is no surprise to us as we’ve been expecting the PBoC to keep easing policy through further lending rate cuts, more mortgage credit easing, implicit support for the equity market and sharp RRR reductions to help with the cleansing of banks’ balance sheets. According to our estimates, China’s real GDP fell 0.2% in Q1...

July, 02 2015 by lsr team

All eyes are on the unfolding Greek drama, yet arguably what is going on in China is of equal if not greater importance for markets. China’s stock market has the blessing of the ruling Communist party, but this doesn’t mean equity prices can’t swing violently. Beijing would rather see money pouring into shares than inflating a new property bubble that could burst with potentially more severe social consequences. Yet it does not want a re-run of the market’s collapse in 2008 either – hence the recent crackdown on margin trading that set off t...

June, 22 2015 by lsr team

China’s economy is losing steam fast under the burden of local government and corporate debt. According to our estimates, non-financial debt including shadow banking reached 240% of GDP in 2014, while real GDP growth averaged just under 5%. Beijing’s local government debt bailout plan buys time, but we estimate that a proper clean-up could mean government debt rising to as high as 105% of GDP. Click below for our exclusive report on ‘’Defusing China’s debt bomb” to find out if Beijing can afford to clean up past excesses, whether its d...

June, 12 2015 by lsr team

China’s stock market is piping hot with the A-share market up nearly 60% this year. But China’s economy has lost momentum sharply, with real GDP falling by 0.2% in Q1 according to LSR estimates, the worst since the global financial crisis. Our Chief Economist and Head of Research, Diana Choyleva talks about the two opposing forces and why it’s important for the Chinese authorities to support the equity market. Click here if you're interested to watch the full video on CNBC or...

June, 11 2015 by lsr team

One of our senior economists, Richard Batley has just come back from a client trip to the US.  Five days of visits to investment managers up and down the East Coast should serve to dispel any doubts that Chinese equity volatility is front and center of almost all investors’ minds.  At nearly every meeting we were asked: Should we buy or sell Chinese equities? It’s an important question and deserves a detailed answer.  Critical to this investment decision is understanding why China’s slumping growth and booming equity market, that appear...