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After Trump’s victory, global investors assess where markets are going next

Republican president-elect Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd as Vice president-elect Mike Pence looks on during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City.
Getty Images
Republican president-elect Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd as Vice president-elect Mike Pence looks on during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City.

Plunging risk appetite as exemplified by tumbling oil, spiking gold and precipitously falling equity futures makes crystal clear that the knee-jerk reaction to Republican candidate Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential race is one of deep concern within global markets.

But once the dust settles and the unexpected result is digested, will the pessimism give way and risk appetite return?

"In principle, Trump is advocating radical tax reform, corporate cash repatriation and other policies that ought to be very beneficial to equity markets. But in practice, nobody knows what he's thinking," Yanni Mantzaris, founder of investment fund, Soay Capital, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Equities: policies vs practical

We remember that part of the adverse reaction is due to markets getting ahead of themselves and overestimating the likelihood of a Clinton victory so retracement across asset classes is currently underway.

We saw such a pattern after the U.K. referendum, where the FTSE 100 took only a few days to regain its upward momentum after falling around 6 percent in the first two days following the vote and the more U.K.-focused FTSE 250 took around two weeks to bounce back from its initial 14 percent sell-off. Part of this was due to a falling U.K. currency – and this is one asset which hasn't recovered, now languishing around 17 percent lower than its pre-Brexit level.

Colin McLean, managing director at SVM Asset Management, thinks investors could grow to like Trump depending on how his presidency pans out.

In McLean's view, "If Trump's presidency echoes Ronald Reagan's leadership, markets may come to respect the new leader and his policies. What they fear is a Silvio Berlusconi (former Italian Prime Minister)."

"Reagan was a notable exception to the Republican's generally poor stock market record since 1948 - the S&P gained 54 percent as he brought new confidence to the U.S. economy. On the other hand, Berlusconi was a wealthy businessman and seen as successful in business, but did not deliver on populist rhetoric. Essentially his narrative was an impossible dream," the equity fund's chief investment officer explained.

Fixed income: bounce-back

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Turning to fixed income, Antoine Bouvet, rates strategist at Japanese bank Mizuho International, sees a near-term reversal in the sharp fall in German government bond (bunds) yields and U.S. Treasury yields witnessed on Wednesday morning.

Bouvet says, "I expect the bund rally to reverse in the coming days when the focus turns back to domestic factors for European government bonds. There is still sizeable monetary policy uncertainty in the euro zone, in particular 'taper talk' and this is likely to put upward pressure on yields."

As for the U.S. government bond market, Bouvet added, "I think the (Federal Reserve) will hike in December, but that it will be the last one. Weak growth prospect will support the long end and I think the curve will flatten once the 10-year and 30-year U.S. government bond auctions are out of the way tomorrow."

In terms of investor appetite for corporate debt, Armin Peter, global head of syndicate at Swiss bank UBS believes this will be a very short-term blip for deal momentum.

According to Peter, "The market was hoping for doing deals as early as today (Wednesday) subject to a Clinton win. We won't see any deals now as we have to digest the events overnight in the U.S. That being said - and as in the past - markets will adjust and move on. I'm certain that come next week we will see deals returning as the dust will have settled by then."

FX: dollar's direction

Duncan_Andison | iStock/360 | Getty Images

The currency market has been really shaken up in recent hours with the Mexican peso swooning against the U.S. dollar and the British pound staging a rally, although some correction to that overreaction has already come through,says Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at foreign exchange company OANDA.

Erlam believes we need to see which message Trump decides to lead with before deciding the probable direction of various currencies.

In Erlam's words: "If Trump softens his more extreme claims,it could help to ease concerns. The Bank of England played a significant role in bringing some calm to the markets post-Brexit so it will be interesting to see whether the Fed does the same now, especially as it was intending to raise rates next month which is now up in the air."

"When the dust settles will depend on the reaction of Trump and the Fed. Markets have been sent into a frenzy because of poor positioning and the worrying rhetoric of Trump in the lead-up to the election. If both respond quickly, we could see some calm return the markets relatively quickly, as we did after June 23. Whether this applies to the peso will very much depend on what he has to say regarding NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)," he added.

Commodities: gold's opportunity

Jodie Gunzberg, global head of commodities and real assets at S&P Dow Jones Indices, sees the potential for high volatility but a certain precious metal possibly being a longer-run winner.

According to Gunzberg, "There may be continued high volatility in commodities since the best and worst performance has happened under Republican rule. If the U.S. dollar weakens, commodities will likely get a boost. Typically oil rises more than gold, about 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, for every 1 percent the dollar falls."

"Oil will probably behave on fundamentals as early as tomorrow when the IEA report comes out, but Trump may be the perfect catalyst for gold to solidify its comeback as gold loves uncertainty. In index history, gold can reach over $1800 before its rise is unprecedented, so there is high potential for big returns as investors flee to the safe-haven," Gunzberg affirmed.

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