Markets Turn Nervous After Trump Wall Threat, NAFTA Nonsense

Donald Trump held what amounted to a campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night and I don’t know if you heard, but it went great.

You can read the full post linked above for the details, but suffice to say markets weren’t particularly enamored with it. While pretty much everything he said was egregious (he was in rare form), these soundbites were particularly concerning for traders:

  • “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
  •  I think we’ll end up probably terminating Nafta at some point”

“U.S. stock-index futures declined after President Donald Trump’s comments about ending the North American trade agreement and shutting down the government spurred investor concern,” Bloomberg notes this morning, in a kind of deadpan fashion that conveys this: “what did you expect?”

The yen rose as well. “Trump’s comment provided an opportunity to sell dollars on recent gains,” Yuji Saito, executive director at Credit Agricole CIB’s FX department in Tokyo wrote a few hours ago, adding that while “the impact of his comments may not last too long, the market had to react as Trump mentioned about government shutdown and terminating Nafta.”

Here’s the reaction in USDJPY and gold when everyone started to realize that Phoenix was going to be a “Trump unplugged” special:


Now all we need is an errant tweet or two and we’ll be well on our way to erasing yesterday’s rally.

“The Nafta hot air may be as much an excuse to take a step back after Wall Street’s surge yesterday, as it is a legitimate concern about the president not appreciating nuances of inter-dependence embedded in trade deals,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore suggested. “The ‘she loves me, she loves me not’ thought process could lead to on-off markets”



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