The Bond Market Thinks America Will Win the Trade Fight

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn as they departs the White House July 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Trumps are traveling to Joint Base Andrews to pay their respects to the family of United States Secret …

Donald Trump once described himself as “the king of debt.”

The global bond market appears to agree. Bond prices around the world signal that the U.S. economy is set for sustained acceleration even while the rest of the world slows down.

Bloomberg’s Sid Verman and Luke Kawa report:

Global debt markets are flashing a bullish signal on America’s economic trajectory, leaving Europe and emerging markets in the dust.

Money managers in America Inc. debt are shrugging off late-cycle angst and the trade-war fallout thanks to an upswing in earnings — while the rest of the world struggles for traction.

The premium to hold high-yield dollar bonds around the globe versus U.S.-listed corporate peers has widened to levels last notched back in 2002, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In other words, rarely has U.S. debt looked in such good shape relative to peers in the $2.4 trillion market.

The gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world has opened up even as the Trump administration has upped the ante in trade disputes with China, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. The implication is that the world thinks the U.S. is likely to be the winner in the trade disputes, while the rest of the world’s economy may suffer without the ability to exploit trade policy to gain advantages over the U.S.

Verman and Kawa put it this way:

And there’s a message for President Donald Trump in bond performance: domestic America can survive the brewing conflict in global commerce.

Inward-looking high-yield companies, at least, should escape without too much impact, said David Ader, chief macro strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence. “It actually is a comment — dare I suggest — that would make Trump smile as it implies how dependent the rest of the world is on the U.S.,” he said.

 

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