FROM THE GLOBAL CIO OFFICE - By Candice Bangsund, Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Global Asset Allocation
Sentiment remained fragile in August as investors grappled with a flurry of trade headlines, a fraught geopolitical backdrop, and yield curve inversion that stoked recession fears. The US-Sino trade debacle intensified and overshadowed a generally supportive message from global central banks. At the beginning of August, President Trump announced a 10% tariff on the final tranche of Chinese imports effective September 1st – though walked that back on August 13th and delayed the tariff on some of those goods until December. Then on August 23rd, China retaliated and raised tariffs on US imports effective in September and December, while Trump responded with a plan to ratchet up duties on all Chinese imports even further. In the end, the 15% tariff on $110 billion of Chinese goods went into effect on September 1st, as did China’s retaliatory tariffs – with little clarity regarding the way forward for the US-China trade dilemma.