Buy the rumour sell the fact on US-China phase 1 dud deal?

Author: Giles Coghlan | Category: News

Big on hype and low on detail 

Big on hype and low on detail 
It's hard to really fully assess what the impact of the US-China phase 1 trade deal will be. Check out Eamonn's piece here on the expected tariff reduction rate. Underwhelming impact for sure. The US is no longer calling China a 'currency manipulator' which gave risk a boost yesterday, but that is a political move.  Justin was pulling together some of the details on the deal yesterday to give some more substance to it: 

I was reading a piece on Bloomberg which said that the most optimistic scenario would appear to be a return to the status quo from mid-2019. Ok, so keep the champagne on ice. The signing of this deal seems to be closer to a political posturing rather than a firm commitment to trade. Hence, big on hype and low on detail. I was speaking on CNBC Arabia yesterday and as I was mulling over the deal I couldn't work out at the time why this was called a 'deal' rather than a 'dud'. There is no tariff relief until a phase 2 deal is arranged. 

This lends itself to a buy the rumour sell the fact trade. Especially if the 'fact' is underwhelming. In my view the deal is still very murky and unclear, so I will be closely watching for the detail. I will be closing my GBPSGD shorts today reflecting this.   My hunch is that this whole phase 1 'deal'  will be a sell the fact trade and don't forget the US is still arguing with the EU about trade, so that could come into focus for risk assets as soon as phase 1 US-China deal is signed. 
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