"I noticed the following short article in today's Times warning of a potential problem with emerging markets if they don't begin to tackle structural issues in their markets.
"I had not seen this as a short term issue before. I'd appreciate your thoughts on what this might mean short to medium term for those markets.
"Good to hear your announcement for the new service which I look forward to!"
David Fuller's view My thanks to you and other subscribers for your comments on the new, imminent evolution in our service. I think it will be very positive because we will have a successful, complementary financial business and a knowledgeable, technically savvy subscriber assisting our development. A considerable amount of preparation and investment has gone into this project which I think subscribers will appreciate over time. My immediate concern is that we have a smooth transfer in the next few weeks, although that will be a challenge.
As for emerging markets (EMs), indeed all markets, we still hear plenty of warnings from financial commentators. Those are often contrary indicators and we have had a steady supply of dire stock market forecasts since the 2008-2009 lows, although fortunately not from Fullermoney. This tells us that many global investors remain cautious and underinvested, or invested in bonds.
Eventual QE tapering risks are well known and will retain the capacity to roil stock markets from time to time. However that is the nature of the animal (mostly us plus high-frequency trading) and there are not many years when stock markets have not had choppy phases. There is not a great deal that we can do about this, except to pay attention to market sentiment and keep an eye on price charts. It also pays to buy low and sell high.
For instance, when the crowd is enthusiastic and some indices or shares soar above rising 200-day MAs, you have good reason for caution because the crowd is long and a corrective phase will follow. Conversely, when indices plunge beneath declining 200-day MAs and the mood is grim, people have sold and a buying opportunity beckons.
Emerging markets are high-beta and this volatility can be unnerving. Another filter to use is valuations on a relative comparison basis because when EMs are more expensive than Wall Street and other developed markets, you know that short to medium-term risks for them have increased. Conversely, when EMs are out of favour as we have seen in recent months, to the extent that valuations fall below those of developed markets, they are becoming oversold.
While all this is going on, we need to recall the most important fundamental indicator of all for stock markets - monetary policy. Today, interest rates remain generally low and monetary policy in most countries is accommodative. That is a very important bullish tailwind. Currently, traders are covering stock market shorts and increasing long positions because the US political impasse is no longer dominating sentiment and QE tapering has been postponed.