Global: Trade tensions rise

Global: Key developed markets equity performance
Equity markets sold-off as trade tensions escalated


Source: IFM Investors, MSCI, Macrobond * updated on 09/09/2019

August was a challenging month for equity markets with focus back on the US-China trade war, which escalated markedly. This saw recession fears re-emerge as the flow through impact from weaker trade growth now threatens to flow through economies – particularly those exposed heavily to global trade.

The escalation of trade tensions occurred early in the month with US President Donald Trump announcing a 10% tariff on a further US$300bn of imported Chinese goods scheduled to take effect in September and December. This round of tariffs is aimed largely at consumer goods rather than raw materials and will likely have a more pronounced negative impact on US consumption.

Broader global uncertainty around trade is negatively impacting investment growth in many advanced nations. This suggests a softer tone of global growth will prevail as we move into 2020. With no sign of the trade war abating anytime soon, this trend is likely to continue.