No real Trump Trade, says JPMorgan's Flanders


Optimism in the US may have started to fade but there are opportunities outside of America, according to Stephanie Flanders, chief market strategist for Europe at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Ms Flanders, commenting on JPMorgan's latest market outlook, Guide to the Markets, said people were starting to question overweening optimism at the start of the year, whereby people had predicted a strong reflation trade - or as some called it, the Trump Trade.

Initially this year, she explained, people seemingly had a feeling of optimism about the global economy, and high expectations on what President Donald Trump may do in his first few days in office.

However, Ms Flanders commented: "People are now questioning whether the data has really been strong enough to support that reflation argument."

She said Mr Trump had not been able to deliver so far in his first 100 days, and "signs were that he would not be particularly quick to deliver legislation out of Congress".

She said we would probably not see super-soaring reflation across the globe, but "one could still be confident we are looking at a more balanced global recovery and possibly some more interesting opportunities for US investors - albeit outside of America".

That said, the "chances of a bear market" in the US are low, despite the US market being already far into its recovery cycle.

According to Ms Flanders, bond investors should not be too afraid of the 'reflation trade', even if things look better for equity investors.

She commented there is still a "big question mark" over how far long-term interest rates and bond rates can go from here, so the fears holders of long-dated government bonds may have had about a sudden, sharp hike in interest rates may not come to pass, she said.

However, Ms Flanders admitted: "I do think we are in an environment that will be better for equities, and particularly equities outside of the US.

"We have reached a point where the US is later on in its economic cycle and possibly less to go on the upside."

Instead, there will be more opportunities in Europe and emerging markets coming from this more balanced recovery, Ms Flanders added, with the global picture "looking better than it has done for the past few years".