Saxo Bank's 10 Outrageous Predictions for 2017
Will this be the year when China exceeds growth expectations, Brexit turns into Bremain, the Mexican peso soars and Italian banks turn out to the best performing equity asset class?
Saxo Bank, the online multi-asset trading and investment specialist, has today released its annual set of 'Outrageous Predictions' for the year ahead.Continuing in the tradition of making a selection of calls aimed at provoking conversation on what might surprise or shock the investment returns in the year ahead this year's predictions cover a range of scenarios, including a Chinese growth rebound, an Italian bank rally, Brexit giving way to Bremain and the EU's willingness to change in the face of populist backlash, among others. The Outrageous Predictions should not be considered Saxo's official market outlook, it is instead the events and market moves deemed outliers with huge potentials for upsetting consensus views.Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank, commented: "After a year in which reality has managed to surpass even seemingly unlikely calls - with the Brexit surprise and the US election outcome - the common theme for our Outrageous Predictions for 2017 is that desperate times call for desperate actions."With change always happening in times of crisis, 2017 may be a wakeup call which sees a real departure from the 'business as usual', both in central bank expansionism and government austerity policies which have characterized the post-2009 crisis."As some of our past outrageous predictions have turned out to be far less outrageous that at first thought, it is important that investors are aware of the range of possibilities outside of the market consensus so that they can make informed decisions, even in seemingly unlikely market scenarios."It is in this spirit that we release Saxo Bank's Outrageous Predictions for 2017:
- China GDP swells to 8% and the SHCOMP hits 5,000
China understands that it has reached the end of the road of its manufacturing and infrastructure growth phase and, through a massive stimulus from fiscal and monetary policies, opens up capital markets to successfully steer a transition to consumption-led growth. This results in 8% growth in 2017, with the resurgence owing to the growth in the services sector. Euphoria over private consumption-driven growth sees the Shanghai Composite Index double from its 2016 level, surpassing 5,000.
- Desperate Fed follows BoJ lead to fix 10-year Treasuries at 1.5%
As US dollar and US interest rates rise in increasingly painful fashion in 2017, the testosterone driven fiscal policy of the new US President leads US 10-year yields to reach 3%, causing market panic. On the verge of disaster, the Federal Reserve copies the Bank of Japan's Yield Curve Control, by fixing the 10-year Government yield at 1.5%, but from a different angle, effectively introducing QE4 or QE Endless. This in turn promptly stops the selloff in global equity and bond markets, leading to the biggest gain for bond markets in seven years. Critical voices are lost in the roar of yet another central bank-infused rally.
- High-yield default rate exceeds 25%
With the long-term average default rate for high yield bonds being 3.77%, jumping during the US recessions of 1990, 2000 and 2009 to 16%, 10% and 12% respectively, 2017 sees default rates as high as 25%. As we reach the limits of central bank intervention, governments around the world move towards fiscal stimulus, leading to a rise in interest rates (ex Japan), thus steepening the yield curve dramatically. As trillions of corporate bonds face the world of hurt, the problem is exacerbated by a rotation away from bond funds, widening spreads and making refinancing of low grade debt impossible. With default rates reaching 25%, inefficient corporate actors are no longer viable allowing for a more efficient allocation of capital.
- Brexit never happens as the UK Bremains
The global populist uprising, seen across both sides of the Atlantic, disciplines the EU leadership into a more cooperative stance towards the UK. As negotiations progress, the EU makes key concessions on immigration and on passporting rights for UK-based financial services firms, and by the time Article 50 is triggered and put before Parliament, it is turned down in favour of the new deal. The UK is kept within the EU's orbit, the Bank of England hikes the rate to 0.5% and EURGBP plummets to 0.7300 - invoking the symbolism of 1973, the year of UK's entry into the EEC....