FILE PHOTO: A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
March 19, 2019
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors remained bullish on longer-dated U.S. Treasuries for a sixth consecutive week on worries about a slowing economy and expectations inflation will stay muted despite a tight domestic labor market, a J.P. Morgan survey showed on Tuesday.
The margin of investors who said they were “long,” or holding more Treasuries than their portfolio benchmarks, over those who said they were “short,” or holding fewer Treasuries than their benchmarks, increased to nine percentage points from 7 points the prior week, according to the survey.
Three weeks ago, the gap between longs and shorts rose to 11 percentage points, the highest since September 2016.
The survey results come the same day Fed policymakers begin a two-day meeting at which they are expected to leave interest rates unchanged.Twenty-eight percent of the investors surveyed said on Monday for a third straight week they were long on U.S. government bonds, the J.P. Morgan survey showed.
The share of investors who said they were short Treasuries fell to 19 percent from 21 percent a week ago.
The percentage of investors who said they were “neutral,” or holding Treasuries equal to their portfolio benchmarks, edged up to 53 percent from 51 percent the week before, J.P. Morgan said.
Positions among active clients, which include market makers and hedge funds, showed no bearish bets on longer-dated Treasuries. Active net longs rose to 30 percent, the highest since May 2018, while the share of these clients who said they were neutral increased to 70 percent from 60 percent.
In early Tuesday trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was 2.6267 percent, up from 2.6050 percent a week ago.
(GRAPHIC: Investors positions in longer-dated U.S. Treasuries – https://tmsnrt.rs/2V9OjHR)
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
Thirty-eight percent of New York voters say Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was a “villain” in Amazon’s decision to pull out of plans to build a headquarters in Queens, a new Siena College poll reveals.
Only 12 percent call her a “hero” in the collapse of the deal with Amazon. Twenty-four percent classified her as a “role player.”
Ocasio-Cortez and other critics of the Amazon deal said the state went too far in offering the online retail giant tax incentives.
“Local Queens activists” were the second biggest “villain” with 34 percent, the poll noted.
Here is how the New York survey breaks down:
- 31 percent have a favorable view of Ocasio-Cortez, compared to 44 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of her.
- 34 percent have a favorable opinion of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, while 50 do not.
- 51 percent have a favorable view of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., compared to 41 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of him.
- 43 percent have a favorable opinion of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., while 33 percent do not.
- 46 percent have a favorable view of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, compared to 48 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of him.
- 36 percent have a favorable opinion of President Donald Trump, while 60 percent do not.
The poll, conducted March 10-14, surveyed 700 New York registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.
Source: NewsMax America
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
March 19, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – Fund managers have named bearish bets in European equities as the “most crowded” trade for the first time, replacing emerging markets, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s March survey released on Tuesday.
Investors have shunned European stocks for some time, betting the market would be weaker compared with the United States and other regions as euro-zone economic growth slows and Britain’s chaotic exit from the European Union raises worries about disruption to its economy.
A slowdown in China, the world’s No. 2 economy, topped the list of biggest tail risks, ousting the trade war, which had been at the forefront of investor concerns for the previous nine months, the survey showed.
BAML’s March survey – conducted between March 8-14, with 239 panelists managing $664 billion in total – also showed investor risk appetite continued to fall, with global equity allocations remaining at September 2016 lows.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason, Editing by Helen Reid)
A new survey found that the majority of Americans trust Congressional Democrats and special counsel Robert Mueller investigating President Donald Trump and his administration.
- 19 percent trust Mueller, who is leading the Department of Justice probe into Russian collusion.
- 10 percent trust Congressional Democrats, who have launched a wide-ranging investigation into Trump's background.
- 28 percent trust both.
- A combined 57 percent trust either Mueller, Democrats, or both.
- 43 percent trust neither of the aforementioned parties, including 67 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats surveyed.
"I think that a lot of Americans out there just don't care that much about these investigations," Cato Institute director of polling Emily Ekins told Hill.TV. "Now, if the investigation uncovered something real and concrete and clear, that would absolutely make a difference, including for a certain set of pivotal voters in Trump's coalition."
The findings are in contrast to another poll from USA Today and Suffolk University, which found that 50.3 percent of those polled agreed with Trump that Mueller's investigation is a "witch hunt."
Source: NewsMax Politics
Phillip Stucky | Contributor
President Donald Trump may be in danger of losing North Carolina in 2020, according to an Elon University poll released Monday.
The poll found that 48 percent of registered North Carolina voters would vote for any Democrat to survive the primary process over Trump, compared to just 36 percent who said they would support the president no matter who ran against him.
Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016, earning 49.8 percent compared to the Democrat’s 46.2 percent. North Carolina has 15 electoral votes.
When limited to Democratic voters, former Vice President Joe Biden led the pack in the primary with 55 percent of the vote. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders took second with a respectable 44 percent. (RELATED: Trump 2020 Team Has Massive Plan That Relies On 2016 Victory)
“Consistent with many others polls, we find President Trump maintains strong loyalty among registered Republicans in North Carolina,” said Jason Husser, poll director and associate professor of political science at Elon University.
“However, unaffiliated voters are currently breaking toward a hypothetical Democratic candidate by a margin that could portend serious trouble for the president’s 2020 coalition,” he continued. “That said, I expect many of those voters will change their minds as the Democratic nominee moves from hypothetical to actual; the extent of this change will largely shape what we see in North Carolina over the next 20 months.”
It should be noted that on election day in 2016, only one poll claimed that Trump would take the state. The New York Times, Quinnipiac, and left-leaning Public Policy Polling all showed Clinton winning the race by a significant margin.
North Carolina has voted Republican in every election since 1980 with the exception of President Barack Obama’s first term during the 2008 election. Elon University surveyed 914 registered voters. Researchers contacted 423 by phone or email randomly, and 491 were interviewed online through an opt-in survey. Elon reports a “credibility interval” of 3.5 percentage points in either direction. The survey ran from Feb. 20 through March 7.
Source: The Daily Caller
WASHINGTON — Those of us who have always thought that Brexit — Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union — was a bad idea should be feeling self-satisfied and vindicated now. Well, we’re not; at least this observer isn’t. The reason is obvious. Many of the things that we feared would happen have happened, or might still. Worse, the consequences aren’t confined to the United Kingdom.
If you take a crude and unscientific survey of some of Washington’s major think tanks, you discover (no surprise) that they’re generally agreed that the economic outlook for Britain is grim. Here’s a commentary by economist Desmond Lachman of the right-of-center American Enterprise Institute:
“Since the Brexit referendum, the U.K.’s economic performance has deteriorated. It has done so as the U.K.’s future access to the European single market, which buys around 50 percent of the U.K.’s exports, has come into serious question. … At a time that the European economy is already stuttering, with Italy in recession and the German economy on the cusp of recession, the last thing that Europe now needs is a sclerotic UK economy.”
A new study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics reviewed the forecasts of 12 economic models and found that only two of them predicted gains from Brexit. Other studies forecast losses up to 8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The study also warns that “a no-deal ‘crash out'” — a reversion to higher tariffs rather than a “soft Brexit” of continuing the present no-tariff situation — “would have serious negative short-run impacts on the U.K., which are essentially impossible to model.”
Although EU countries would also lose some exports to the U.K., these are much smaller than the U.K.’s export losses to the EU. Thus, they’re more easily made up by boosting exports to other countries, the report contends.
The U.K.’s losses are not just theoretical. Already, some companies are announcing closures of U.K. manufacturing operations, a good example being Honda. Similarly, some banks are moving financial assets (stocks, bonds, other securities) from their London offices to locations on the continent. There is much fear that London will lose its traditional position as Europe’s pre-eminent financial center.
Meanwhile, the chaos, confusion and contradictions of Parliament’s efforts to find a tenable Brexit policy must seriously undermine confidence in Britain’s political system and its ability to attract future investors, domestic and foreign.
The prevailing political anarchy was on public display last week. On March 12, Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed agreement with the EU for the second time. Then on March 13, it voted down a proposal for the U.K. to leave the EU without an agreement, failing to acknowledge “that this is precisely what will happen unless they reconcile themselves to the very deal they rejected the day before,” as Douglas Rediker of The Brookings Institution noted in a blog post. The deadline for deciding is March 29, though that could be extended.
The larger and more significant issue floating over this controversy involves the future of the world trading system. There has been a loss of authority among the corporate executives, governmental officials and economists whose support is crucial if the system is to survive and flourish.
It’s not that they have changed their minds about the value of open trade so much as the public has turned more skeptical and hostile to trade expansion. A less supportive public in turn alters the political climate, making governments more nationalistic and leading to more, not fewer, trade barriers. Multinational firms become more cautious in making new investments, because they can’t know how much open trade will be tolerated.
Brexit is one example of this break from the past. Others are well-known: the Trump administration’s renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico; its bargaining with China over trade practices; and the imposition of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
The fate of Brexit is just a small part of this much larger story. Is the post-World War II global trading system, constructed gradually over the past half-century or so, breaking down? Or is it just in a state of temporary hiatus? History awaits an answer.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post Writers Group
A room is seen at UCommune coworking space in Shanghai, China March 7, 2019. Picture taken March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
March 18, 2019
By Clare Jim and Brenda Goh
HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Co-working space operators in China are shifting their focus from ambitious expansion plans to services such as customizing offices for clients, as rising vacancy rates and tighter financing slow their exponential growth of the past two years.
The strategy shift marks a turn of fortunes for the Chinese co-working industry, whose rapid expansion has helped operators such as Ucommune, MyDreamPlus and Kr Space raise hundreds of millions of dollars.
The combined area of co-working space in four first-tier cities in China surged by almost 60 percent between the end of 2017 and October last year, according to industry association China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce.
However, 40 percent of the co-working centers were more than half empty as of October and 40 co-working brands had shut in the first 10 months of 2018, it added.
“There’s a shake-out in the flexible office space,” said Paul Salnikow, global CEO of The Executive Center, which entered China in 2001 and currently operates 45 premium flexible working centers in nine Chinese cities.
“Since November, we’ve seen operators in China walking away from centers, trying to give it back to the landlord. We’ve been offered furniture from some of these people, saying they’re trying to raise money.”
A common solution for firms appears to be diversification into services that require less capital investment, such as office design and management.
“Our focus this year is ‘management output’,” Mao Daqing, founder of Ucommune, one of the largest co-working space operators in China, told Reuters.
The company expected to partner with enterprise clients and open another 30 flexible working centers for them this year, providing design and management services, from 15 currently, he said. Ucommune’s own branded centers would add five to 10 more to the over 200 already in place.
U.S.-based WeWork started providing such services in China last year and also plans to grow the business.
One industry executive who declined to be identified told Reuters the asset-light model helped to shift rental costs to clients, boosting income.
LANDLORDS AT RISK
A survey of Chinese flexible working space operators by real estate consultancy CBRE in January found that around 68 percent planned to slow or halt expansion this year.
But the rise in vacancy rates and operators dropping out of the business could also spell trouble for Chinese office landlords, especially in major cities like Shanghai where co-working is more common than the rest of Asia-Pacific.
“Co-working operators need to go further asset-light and slow one-off CAPEX investment to stay in operation,” said Virginia Huang, CBRE Greater China managing director of advisory and transaction services.
“What this means is landlords also share some risks of this industry, not only the operators.”
Terms of underwriting co-operating operators are also changing, with landlords bearing more costs and risks.
Stanley Ching, Citic Capital’s head of property, said operators were increasingly seeking fit-out subsidies and leasing on profit-sharing models with landlords, as they become more reluctant to pay high rents to secure space.
LaSalle Investment Management, which rents space to co-working operators in China, said picking the right operators and limiting exposure was crucial.
“They’re not recession-proof yet; they haven’t gone through a recession, we don’t know who’s going to survive or who’s not,” said Elysia Tse, LaSalle IM Asia Pacific head of research and strategy.
“So we’ll make sure our portfolio of co-working tenants is a small minority portion.”
One positive trend for co-working operators is the growth in demand from larger corporates amid China’s broader economic slowdown.
“As companies’ outlook on the economy turns conservative and they want to save office costs, they turn to co-working space which provides flexibility,” said Ucommune’s Mao.
“Our clients for office design service also increased for this reason.”
(Reporting by Clare Jim and Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Stephen Coates)