Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s August 8 economic speech was panned by many beltway pundits. From Nomura’s perspective, the policy speech was interesting by what was not said. If Trump is victorious it could lead to interesting impact in the currency markets, a report from Nomura’s Global FX Strategy analyst Bilal Hafeez pointed out.
Numerous investing themes loom on the other side of Trump’s economic plan. Understanding the investment potential might be best judged by considering the word cloud that was created in the wake of the August 7 speech in Detroit.
Nomura pointed out that jobs were the major focus in the speech, followed by Hillary Clinton, trade and taxes.
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From Trump’s perspective, jobs and trade are two concepts that go hand in hand. The available data on the issue of trade deals costing Americans jobs has been mixed and is a highly charged issue. A recent plan by the Obama administration to eliminate the tracking of job loss due to trade agreements only makes accurate statistical analysis of the issue, currently the hot topic on the campaign and key for the economy, more difficult.
Trump didn’t mention building a wall, Mexico or even China much
Trump addressed eliminating the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and asking US allies to pay more for military support.
In somewhat related topics for currency prices, Trump addressed reducing corporate tax rates to 15%, ending inheritance tax and applying a one-off 10% tax for US companies to bring foreign cash back to the US. He also didn’t back down his talk on trade and tariffs. Hafeez noted that Trump called for a renegotiation of NAFTA, tariffs on countries that subsidize their exports and tougher enforcement of intellectual property rules, with a particular eye towards China.
These issues could have ramifications for the floating price of currencies.
“From a currency perspective, the most critical policy would be the trade (and military) ones, which would likely adversely affect the currencies of the US’s trade partners,” Hafeez wrote. “The other relevant policy would be the repatriation of foreign US cash. The FX impact of this would depend on whether the foreign cash is in dollars already or not.”
In other interesting developments for potential investments, he appeared to de-emphasize the need to rebuild infrastructure, placing this at the end of his speech, and downplayed Mexico, mentioning it only twice. Martin Marietta Materials stock price, considered a Trump proxy stock, is trading up nearly 2 points after the speech.