While the U.S. and China will probably strike a trade deal, the question is whether any eventual agreement will resolve their underlying issues, says David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Investment Managers.
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China Railway Construction Corporation excluded UBS from a bond deal after the bank’s global chief economist used the phrase “Chinese pig,” adding another chapter to an unexpected tiff between Switzerland’s largest bank and China. According to Ji Bo, chief representative for Europe at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, cultural awareness is key.
With the European Commission and Switzerland unlikely to sign off tomorrow on their long-awaited treaty, Stefan Legge, lecturer in economics at the University of St. Gallen, says it’s imperative that “David and Goliath” reach a deal. Entering a prolonged tit-for-tat game, he adds, could jeopardize existing good relations.
After the financial crisis, many institutional investors have moved to direct lending in search of higher returns. Kirsten Bode, co-head of private debt, pan Europe at Muzinich & Co., talks about the origins of that market and how she sees the risks in this asset class.
As women in Switzerland took to the streets on Friday to call for equality and respect, Isabelle Fellrath, a lawyer at SwissLegal, says much of the message had been diminished by the debate around whether it could even be called a strike or not. Legalities aside, Fellrath argues that “we are walking on eggshells” in addressing sensitive issues and the key message is that something substantial needs to be done.
Banks may be asking the SNB to end its negative interest rate policy, which weighs on their profitability. But the central bank is nowhere close to that, according to the SNB’s Andréa Maechler. She also stresses that it is ready to intervene on the FX market if need be. She starts by explaining what SARON, the new reference rate, actually means for mortgages.
The Swiss National Bank is under growing pressure to push rates further into negative territory. Patrice Gautry, chief economist of UBP, discusses the prospect of yet more easing in the months to come.
The SEC gave the go-ahead last week for non-transparent ETFs in the U.S., a move, that Dan Draper, global head of ETFs at Invesco, says was “ultimately a good thing” in balancing one’s portfolio between traditional index-based ETFs and more actively managed assets to achieve a better long-term outcome.
The Swiss franc further appreciated this week as investors flocked to the safe haven currency, amid rising trade tensions. But Patrick Zweifel, Chief Economist at Pictet Asset Management, argues that the Swissie is still undervalued relative to the euro. His comments come as SNB policy makers prepare to meet next week.
After months of silence, the Swiss Federal Council has decided to say “yes, but” to the proposed framework agreement between the EU and Switzerland. Economist Cornelia Meyer talks about the outcome of this decision and compares the situation with the Brexit discussions between the UK and the EU.
The European Central Bank has announced plans to hold rates through at least the first half of 2020, citing ongoing uncertainties and growing protectionism. Samy Chaar, chief economist at Banque Lombard Odier & Cie, said the move reflects the limitations the ECB faces when the European economy is impacted by factors outside of its control, such as the trade war.