Strategy: Winds of political change blowing over Europe

This week is dominated by political headlines in Europe. The first round of the French presidential election is upon us on Sunday. It has been awaited (or feared) for months, or basically since last year's surprise Brexit outcome and Donald Trump's victory, which served as a reminder that populist movements are taking hold in western politics. Also, as if the political calendar was not crowded enough already, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called a general election for 8 June. In the midst of this frantic European political calendar, economic data releases and central bank views are almost taking a backseat to political events. Hence, the title of our FX Forecast Update this week: Political risks are in charge. However, before turning to the likely outcome and market implications of these key political events, it is worth taking a look at our latest take on the global business cycle.

Our global business cycle model points to weakening growth momentum ahead

Our leading macroeconomic model MacroScope this week pointed to further weakening momentum in the global business cycle in the period ahead. The model paints a picture of the underlying macro environment on a three- to six-months horizon. While the underlying macro environment is getting more bullish, the market has already rallied and is in neutral to slightly overbought territory now. This points to a rising risk that we are moving into a scenario that tends to entail more frequent corrections in risk markets. In other words, the sensitivity to external shocks such as perceived adverse political events will increase.


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