marctomarket.com / By Marc Chandler / SUNDAY, June 30, 2013
The third quarter begins with a bang this week. The main highlights include four major central bank meetings, Japan’s quarterly Tankan survey, monthly purchasing managers’ surveys and the US employment report.
The larger context in which the data and events will occur is important. Retail and institutional investors are dramatically adjusting portfolios. The Federal Reserve is expected to begin what could be a protracted exit from its unconventional easing policy. The most acute phase of the Chinese liquidity squeeze may have been passed, but conditions have not completely normalized. Separately but related, the growth prospects of the world’s second largest economy are being downgraded.
At the same time, one of the main characteristics are the investment climate is the desynchronized business cycle and economic conditions. While the Fed is contemplating the thresholds and timing of its tapering exercise, other central banks, remain committed to either their accommodative polices or are considering extending them. The higher interest rates that emerged in the second half of the second quarter pose a new challenge for many countries that are experiencing contraction or weak growth.