The geopolitics driving markets this week

by from interactive investor |

So far markets have proved remarkably sanguine about the threat of a global trade war and the dramatic events this weekend don't seem to have changed that stance, with equity markets dismissing the potential threats.  

After leaving the G7 meeting, Trump and his team launched into an ugly tirade against embattled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Far from resolving existing differences over trade, this merely accelerates the likely implementation of further tariffs by the US on its western "allies", this time focused upon automobiles.  

This deterioration in the relationship between the US and many of its supposed friends is in stark contrast to the potential for peace with a previous arch enemy of the administration, North Korea. 

President Trump has torn up the political rule book and his unique style of confrontational negotiation and Twitter is playing well at home, while the established political elite, who have not yet fully adapted to the change in approach, are being left reeling. 

Away from geopolitics, the markets have a very busy week ahead of them.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve is a near certainty to raise rates; while on Thursday, the European central Bank is poised to announce an end date for their existing QE operations. 

While the removal of easy liquidity is happening at a very gradual, supportive pace and is being embraced by Western markets, the fallout for emerging markets has already been much more dramatic and the pressure is likely to intensify - increasing the divergence in performance between developed and developing markets.

In the UK, Theresa May faces another week of excruciating pain as she seeks to push through essential Brexit legislation.  

She is being undermined on all sides; Labour and Tory rebels in the Commons, arch Brexiteers in her cabinet, EU negotiators in Brussels, not to mention growing unease at the insidious influence of Russian-sponsored operators who encouraged the Leave vote in the first place. 

Defeat this week would pile pressure on Prime Minister May and sterling, leaving the door open for a change at the top, or at the very least raising the possibility that the UK could fail to get any deal approved this autumn. 

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