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Top 5 Charts of the Week: Investor confidence, Global trade, Asian currencies, US labor market

Here's some of the standout economic and markets charts on my radar. I aim to pick a good mix of charts covering key global macro trends, and ones which highlight risks and opportunities across asset classes. Hope you enjoy!

1. Institutional Investor Confidence - Panic Mode: The January reading of the State Street investor confidence index for North America entered into panic-mode territory. This is the lowest reading on record. I will be covering this topic in more detail in my weekly report on Friday (quite a bit to talk about).

us institutional investor confidence in panic mode

2. Euphoria to Dysphoria: Similarly, my own Euphoriameter (composite measure of investor sentiment) has undertaken a big reset from extreme euphoria in January last year, to mild dysphoria in December. As I noted elsewhere, the market has a lot of bad news priced in...

euphoria - composite measure of investor sentiment

3. Global Trade: The December readings for the Global Shipping Container Throughput Index showed rather ho-hum growth figures. Not accelerating, and *not* collapsing. Looking at the relative performance of global shipping stocks, they've largely priced in this benign outcome (rather than trading in a way which would imply further deterioration).

global trade indicators

4. Asian FX Index - Breakout: Following today's Fed announcements (rates pause and "balance sheet flexibility") the equal-weighted Asian FX Index from our latest Global Cross Asset Market Monitor has officially broken up through its 200-day moving average. Astute observers will note though that the writing was already on the wall for this one, and for a number of reasons my view is Asian currencies & EMFX are well positioned for some arguably well-overdue outperformance. The Fed catalyst only adds to the case.

Asian currencies index breaking out post-Fed

5. US Labor Market Confidence: It's well known that employment statistics are typically lagging indicators, but with the latest consumer confidence numbers I wanted to highlight just how bullish the consumer is on the jobs market. As the chart says: small businesses are having trouble filling jobs, and consumers are saying it's easy to find a job. All I have to say on this one is watch out for inflation if we *don't* get a recession, because capacity is (or at least was) tight...

US labor market confidence indicators

Thanks for reading.

This article was originally posted by me on LinkedIn. Be sure to connect with us there too.

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