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Gartman: I'm confused, but still buying stocks

The annual central banking conflab at Jackson Hole over the weekend has left widely-followed investor, Dennis Gartman, confused on when the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate.

But, the editor and publisher of the Gartman Letter, has told CNBC he is "slightly long" on equity markets amid this uncertainty from the Fed and the stock market turmoil spreading from China.


"I trade only from my own account, I'm slightly long - a little discouraged when I see the action we've seen overnight in China. But, I think I'll stay that way and my propensity shall be to be a quiet modest buyer of more on today's weakness," he told CNBC Monday.

Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average fell by more than 200 points at one stage as Wall Street geared up for trading on Monday. This came as more weakness was seen in major Chinese benchmarks overnight, although the Shanghai Composite pared losses to close 0.8 percent down.

Investors have been trying to second guess whether the equity turmoil last week will curb the chance of a rate hike by the Fed in September. But Gartman admitted he was none the wiser, despite a speech by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Saturday at the Jackson Hole symposium.

"I think this morning's action is as confusing as any as we have seen, all predicating upon whether the Fed shall or shall not move in September, whether it can or cannot move in September. And listening to the various comments from the monetary authorities in Jackson Hole Wyoming, I'm still confused as to whether they can or cannot move in September," Gartman said.

"I guess the odds have been raised somewhat more than we had seen last week, after the comments from the monetary authorities," he added.

Fischer noted Saturday that the central bank was "following developments in the Chinese economy and their actual and potential effects on other economies even more closely than usual."

Analyzing the speech, Michala Marcussen, global head of economics at Societe Generale, said in a note Sunday that she believed the door was still fully open for a "Fed liftoff" in September.

"At present the market is pricing in a probability of just under 40 percent for a September rate hike, up from a low last week of 24 percent, but still below our own baseline which sits above 50 percent and more dovish than our interpretation of the tone struck at Jackson Hole and recent data releases," she said.