Trading On Trade Troubles
by Charles Cheng, CFA
Markets took a tumble in May due to the trade war escalation between the US’s Trump administration and China. The MSCI World Index fell 3.4% between May 3rd and 17th as Trump announced on Twitter a further increase in tariffs from 10% to 25% on $US 200 billion worth of Chinese goods while China responded by cancelling a large pork order from the US. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, with a large China weighting, was even worse hit, falling almost 8% during the same period, while in the US, major exporters lead the decline. This correction ended a four-month positive run in global markets.
由於美國川普政府與中國之間的貿易戰升級，5月份市場出現重挫。 摩根士丹利資本國際世界指數 (MSCI)在5月3日至17日期間下跌3.4％，因為川普在推特上宣布將價值2000億美元中國商品的關稅從10％進一步提高至25％，而中國則通過取消美國的大型豬肉訂單作出回應。 具有較大中國市場權重的MSCI新興市場指數受到的打擊更為嚴重，同期下跌近8％，而在美國，大型出口商領跌。 這次市場修正結束了全球市場四個月的積極走勢。
What kind of investing lessons can we draw from this? Perhaps there were patterns of behavior and analysis of the political dynamic that could have predicted this escalation? Conceivably, someone who guessed these events correctly ahead of time possibly could have avoided the most recent downturn. And then an astute observer could possibly predict the next steps of both parties. The amount of financial media devoted to analyzing the situation suggests that many try.
我們可以從中獲得什麼樣的投資方面的教訓呢？也許可能存在預測到這種升級的行為模式和對政治動態的分析？可以想像，提前正確猜測這些事件的人可能已經避免了最近的下跌。 而一個精明的觀察者也可能準確預測到雙方的下一步動作。 從致力於分析情勢的財經媒體數量來看，表明許多人都該嘗試做上述對市場的預測。
However, even with a heroic effort, calling both the timing and magnitude of political events and their impact on markets is exceedingly difficult. While Trump has made clear his protectionist tendencies from before he was elected, implementation has been uneven and announced at unpredictable times via social media. Major events over the years related to his trade policies were his election victory in November 2016, his initial tariff announcements in March 2018, and the escalations of the tariffs in June 2018 and recently in May 2019. Through all this, the MSCI AWCI Index has given a total return of over 30% since US Election Day.
然而，即使付出了巨大的努力，算準政治事件的時間和規模及其對市場的影響也是非常困難的。 雖然川普在當選之前明確了他的保護主義傾向，但執行情況不一致，並且每次新政策也是通過社交媒體在不可預測的時機宣布。 多年來與他的貿易政策有關的重大事件為如下：他在2016年11月的選舉勝利，他在2018年3月的首次關稅公告，以及2018年6月和最近的2019年5月的關稅升級。 經歷這一切，MSCI AWCI指數已經自美國大選日起，總回報率超過30％。
While some foresight on Presidential tweeting could have helped avoid some short-term corrections, a bigger mistake would have been correctly predicting his actions and then exiting the market, thus missing out on the long-term uptrend of the markets over this period. Perhaps investors’ efforts are better spent on a plan to stay consistently invested in financial markets through periods of turmoil rather than looking for reasons to get out of them.
Mr. Cheng is a managing partner at a Hong Kong based independent private investment office. This article reflects his personal views and not his firm’s and should not be viewed as an investment recommendation.
鄭先生為可承資本，一家總部設於香港的獨立投資辦公室之董事合夥人。 這篇文章反映了他的個人而非公司觀點。 該文章不應被視為投資建議。