Why Trump’s ‘Power Games’ Risk 2020’s Final Stock Market Beatdown

The Hong Kong arm of China’s biggest asset manager believes deteriorating U.S.-China relations will trigger a massive stock market correction.
Stock market, Donald trump
The stock market may soon have to contend with escalating tensions between Trump's White House and Beijing during election year. | Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew
  • The Hong Kong arm of China’s biggest asset manager is preparing for a stock market downturn.
  • ChinaAMC (HK) CIO Gan Tian says geopolitical risks are likely to cause the global stock market to tumble.
  • Gan successfully predicted and safeguarded his fund against the stock market crash in March.

Gan Tian, chief investment officer of China Asset Management’s (ChinaAMC) Hong Kong subsidiary, believes deteriorating U.S.-China relations will trigger a massive stock market downturn.

Gan, who manages one of China’s biggest funds, warned the stock market is not pricing in the “power games” U.S. President Donald Trump will likely engage in prior to the Presidential election in November.

The stance of ChinaAMC (HK) contrasts the predictions of top banks in Europe and the U.S.

Previously, Morgan Stanley and UBS analysts said they expect the U.S. and China to focus on recovering their respective economies in the second half of 2020.

Why is Hong Kong’s Top Fund Manager So Bearish?

From February to March, the U.S. stock market plunged by 37% as investors panicked about the pandemic.

stock market
The Dow Jones Industrial Average completes recovery from March | Source: Yahoo Finance

At the time, Gan said he was able to cut his positions “very quickly” and narrowly prevented a major loss due to the steep decline in the stock market.

Gan, who successfully predicted the stock market crash in March, is getting ready for another correction.

The fund manager said that he holds around 60% of his portfolio in cash.

For Gan and ChinaAMC (HK), the biggest concern is the geopolitical risks surrounding China.

If a dispute breaks out involving the South China Sea or China’s relationship with China, Gan warned the stock market will immediately feel the pain.

He said:

If that happens it would ripple through the financial market immediately.

china india
Source: Sanjay Jha

Specifically, Gan anticipates the Hong Kong stock market and Chinese equities to consolidate in the near-term.

Throughout the past three months, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) continued to inject more liquidity into the market through reverse repurchase agreements (repos).

The increase in liquidity in the Chinese market caused local stocks to rise, Gan said. As such, they face a correction in the short-term.

Along with the worsening relationship between the U.S. and China, the inflated prices of Chinese and Hong Kong stocks leave both stock markets at risk of a pullback.

Taiwan is the Biggest Variable to the Global Stock Market

As a key variable that may affect the global stock market, Gan pinpointed China’s potential dispute with Taiwan.

Speaking to Fox, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu said on May 27 that China is seemingly taking more actions to pressure Taiwan.

Minister Wu said at the time:

 Look at South China Sea. China seems to be gearing up its military actions over there. China is also putting pressure on Taiwan. China is also taking up some extra actions in the East China Sea. It’s also trying to impose some restrictions especially in the Western Hemisphere to not deal with Taiwan.

U.S., China, and Hong Kong stocks have climbed upwards in the past month, primarily due to rising liquidity, additional stimulus, and relaxed financial conditions.

But, billionaires and hedge fund managers including Gan are still concerned about the ongoing trend of the global economy and the stock market.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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Joseph Young

Joseph Young

Financial analyst based in Seoul, South Korea. Contributing regularly to CCN and Forbes. I have covered the stock market and bitcoin since 2013. Joseph Young is a Trusted Journalist. Visit his MuckRack profile here. Reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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