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Scott Barlow

A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the Web

Ok, here we go.

CNBC is reporting that president Trump will issue executive orders today re-opening the NAFTA treaty to negotiations that will benefit U.S. interests. Despite assurances from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that Canada is not the main target of U.S. trade sanctions, Carleton University's John Higginbotham has taken a look at the Trump appointees on trade and advised Canadians to 'abandon all hope' that our economy will escape restrictions on exports to the U.S. Mr. Higginbotham recommends a highly conciliatory approach by the Trudeau government.

Read more: Will Trump send America into a trade tailspin?

A look at the U.S.'s biggest trade partners, state by state

Globe Editorial: Sometimes it's like Donald Trump doesn't even get how free trade works

In a related story, Canadian officials have noted the possibility that a bilateral trade deal could be struck with the Americans that leaves Mexico out,

""I can't speak for the Mexicans," he told reporters in comments echoed by Canada's trade minister. "We will cooperate on trilateral matters when it's in our interest and we'll be looking to do things that are in our interest bilaterally also. Some of them may be within Nafta, some may not be.""

'Why Canada Shouldn't Stand Up To Trump' – (video interview with Mr. Higginbotham) Bloomberg
"Canada Signals Possible U.S. Trade Deal That Excludes Mexico" – Bloomberg
"Trump to Sign Executive Order on Plan to Renegotiate NAFTA With Mexico, Canada" – CNBC
See also: "Trump Set for 'Antagonistic' China Relations, Citigroup Says" – Bloomberg


Global bond markets could be set for a major rally. Speculative investors have placed a record amount of short positions on U.S. Treasuries and the recent rally in bonds has many of these trades losing money. If the financial pain becomes acute, a rapid short covering rally that sends yields sharply, if temporarily lower, is becoming more of a possibility.

"Beware the Hedge-Fund Wipeout in Treasuries as Bearish Bets Soar" – Bloomberg
"Santoli: Why the bond market may be the best barometer of President Trump's success" – CNBC


There is a similar tension in energy markets as hedge funds have strapped on bullish positions – in a scale larger than the summer of 2014 – on the commodity price while the U.S. oil rig count and production rises,

"The number of rigs drilling for oil and gas in the United States has recorded the largest one-week increase for over five years, confirming a rapid upturn is now underway. The number of active oil and gas rigs jumped by 35 to 694 last week, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes (… there is no denying a rapid and sustained upturn is now underway which could pose challenges for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and for shale drillers themselves."

"U.S. shale oil and gas sector surges back to life: Kemp" – Reuters
"Oil falls as signs of U.S. output rise overshadow OPEC-led cuts" – BNN
"@Ole_S_Hansen Rising US #rigcount, #oil production and hedge activity challenging a record speculative gross-long #OOTT ' – (chart) Twitter
"Canada at a disadvantage to U.S. oil and gas sector: Peyto CEO" – BNN


An excellent FT Alphaville post details research attempting to predict whether the Trump Trade – higher yields, growth and commodity prices – is still viable,

"PM's Niko Panigirtzoglou, who said over the weekend that 'of the main three components of the Trump trade, long US equities, long the dollar, short US duration, there appears to be some extremity with the short duration trade but this extremity is confined to [algorithmic traders]. Encompassing both hedge funds and real money investors we conclude that the Trump trade looks currently far from extreme from a positioning point of view.'"

"Once again in circularity and potential leading indicators" – FT Alphaville (free with registration)


Tweet of the Day: "@RencapMan Right about now; there are over 700m 65+ year olds in the world, more than the number of infants aged 0-4" – (chart) Twitter

Diversion: "The 100 Hottest Cars of All Time" – Popular Mechanics

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