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U.S. stock market no longer subject to the laws of gravity

Andrew Hollins
Andrew Hollins
Director of Corporate Treasury Proposition, Refinitiv

Andrew Hollins, Director of Corporate Treasury Proposition at Refinitiv, brings you the September 2021 round-up of the latest Corporate Treasury Data Insights.

  1. U.S equities have continued their strong run, in spite of concerns about inflation, COVID-19 and widening fiscal deficits. The markets still have faith in the Fed, but other central banks around the world are faring less well.
  2. Economic data is indicating that a global slowdown is on the way. However, if central banks combat this soft patch with more QE, it may not be a major worry for financial markets.
  3. Other headlines this month include the need for regulators to properly get to grips with cryptocurrencies, the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant on economies and the impact of board centrality on financial performance.

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Corporate Treasury Charts of the Month

We have seen strong gains in the U.S. equity market despite headwinds of large deficits, a persistent Delta variant and growing inflationary pressures.

Despite these developments the Fed has kept rates low because markets trust it to act should data begin to show inflation becoming entrenched. This is buoying equity markets but depressing the U.S. dollar.

While the Fed enjoys this reputational credibility, the same cannot be said of many emerging market central banks, with the consequence that several have raised rates already this year – notably Brazil, Russia, Chile and Mexico.

This has tempered local stock markets, reduced the correlation between U.S. and emerging equity markets and impacted FX and rates markets.

U.S. monetary policy is being kept highly accommodative but a sudden switch in Fed policy rates would erode the attraction of higher yielding emerging market currencies.

The Interest Rate Probability app in Refinitiv Eikon calculates probabilities of central bank rate changes for most major economies.

To access the app, customers should search ‘IRPR’ in Refinitiv Eikon.

A slowdown is coming – but should we care?

In the latest episode of Refinitiv’s The Big Conversation, we look at the data that is starting to roll over and points to an economic soft patch ahead. There was a time that this would be a worry for stock markets, but in today’s world of intervention, a delay to taper or even an expectation of more QE would more than offset a slowdown in business activity.

Most of the data remains very robust, but the momentum is starting to wane in the three largest economic regions.

Central banks have shown they are far less tolerant of slow growth versus higher growth (and inflation) and could react with more accommodation if the data deteriorates.

The Big Conversation: A slowdown is coming – should we care?

News in Charts: How Delta has darkened the economic outlook

At the beginning of the year there was widespread optimism for the outlook for 2021.

Vaccine rollouts were starting to accelerate across most Western economies. However, the combination of a more transmissible variant of the COVID-19 virus (Delta), and the fact that the vaccines, while efficacious against illness, do not entirely prevent infection or halt transmission, mean that even highly vaccinated countries such as the UK continue to face elevated infection and fatality rates for the time of year. How has the Delta COVID-19 variant dampened the economic outlook? 

US consumer confidence chart

Breakingviews: Crypto poses systemic risks that need swift remedy

Cryptocurrency businesses are getting big enough to have their problems spill over into the broader financial system. Yet U.S. regulators aren’t keeping up.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler told the Financial Times that digital asset trading platforms are now a $2 trillion industry while some coins, like Tether, are backed by fiat currencies. Regulators need to get on the horn reigning in assets.

Does board centrality predict future financial performance?

Quantitative research commissioned by Refinitiv investigates whether corporations with board members that are simultaneously on several corporate boards perform better than corporations whose board members aren’t as well-connected. Download the research paper to learn about the research findings.

Refinitiv Corporate Treasury Newsbeat

  • Refinitiv designated benchmark administrator for the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate | Ontario Securities Commission and Autorité des marchés financiers announce Refinitiv as the designated benchmark administrator for the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate.
  • Refinitiv announces the 2021 D&I Index top 100 most Diverse & Inclusive organisations globally | Refinitiv announced the 2021 Top 100 most diverse and inclusive organisations globally as ranked by the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index. The index ratings are informed by Refinitiv’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data, designed to transparently and objectively measure the relative performance of close to 11,000 companies representing 80 percent plus of global market cap across 500+ ESG data points, and provide clients with critical and differentiated insight.
  • Refinitiv awarded Best Islamic Data Provider 2021 by The Asset | Refinitiv has been awarded the Best Islamic Data Provider 2021 by The Asset, Asia’s leading financial publication for issuers and investors. Refinitiv’s Islamic Finance proposition offers a variety of data, tools, and applications to capitalise on Islamic finance opportunities, including insights and analysis via Workspace and Eikon, Shariah-compliant asset performance tracking and Islamic finance workflow solutions, among others.

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What are the latest corporate treasury data insights?

August 2021's Corporate Treasury Data Insights from Refinitiv