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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

Jefferies research points out that global inflows into almost all asset classes surged over the past week, yet, at the same time, finance media and prominent strategists remain surprisingly pessimistic. Jefferies first,

“The first full week in 2019 (3 to 9 January) saw broad-based inflows into all asset classes. Particularly eye-catching within global equities (+US$5.8bn), was the return of buying via mutual funds and inflows into European equities. Meanwhile, the US$7.2bn flowing into global bonds was in tandem with a renewal of interest in high yield and IG corporate bonds … For the first time since early October last year, all regions around the globe experienced net equity inflows.”

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“Fund flows: everybody bought everything (Jefferies)” – (research excerpt) Twitter

Despite strong market gains and investors putting new money to work, the most of the headlines sound like these,

“'We are still cautious on equity markets,' says JPMorgan’s Thushka Maharaj” – Bloomberg

“Investors predict doom and gloom for just about every major economy“ – Quartz

“ What to expect when you’re expecting a bear market” – Bloomberg

“The next flash crash in #forex markets may be just around the corner - watch Japan!” – Bloomberg

“Commentary: Recessions? Never consensus, always hiding in plain sight” – Reuters

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Energy expert Gregor MacDonald concluded that “growth prospects for internal combustion engines are over in China,”

“China's vehicle market broke in the direction of electric vehicles [i.e. EV sales went up, despite a drop in overall vehicle sales] in mid-year of 2018, when I was anticipating that might not happen until mid-year 2020. And now that it has broken, it would be a waste of time for people to ponder whether or not internal combustion engines will make a growth comeback in China. The growth prospects for internal combustion engines are over in China… I believe that when the global oil market spotted what … started to unfold in China in late summer, I believe that the global oil market had to start repricing future demand growth for oil. The global oil industry has been living on the prospect of further Asian demand growth. And who's at the cornerstone of that? It's China”

“How China's electric car push is shaking up oil markets” – CBC

“Exclusive: VW, China spearhead $300 billion global drive to electrify cars” - Reuters

“China’s slowdown is the biggest threat to world economy” – Washington Post

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Credit Suisse analyst Akinori Kanemoto believes ‘bottom not in sight’ smartphone sales,

“In our Asia feedback report issued in early December (link), we estimated QoQ declines in global smartphone output of 1% in Oct–Dec 2018 and 14% in Jan–Mar 2019. We have now revised our estimates to declines of 3% and 19%, respectively. The bottom is not yet in sight. Production volume dropped at Apple in Oct–Dec, and will drop at both Apple and Samsung in Jan–Mar”

“@SBarlow_ROB CS on smartphone sales: Bottom not in sight” – (research excerpt) Twitter

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Tweet of the Day:

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Diversion: “The political terms ‘right’ and ‘left’ are simplistic, damaging, and need to be retired” – Macleans

Newsletter: Nobel Prize winner Kahneman describes the trick to becoming a ‘superforecaster’ – Globe Investor

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