Traders Doubling Down on Trump Tweets to Move Interest Rates

Based on a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, President Donald Trump’s tweets could be causing traders to double down on the movement of interest rates.

Per a CNBC report, the assumption “came from looking at the shift in fed funds futures contracts over short and longer terms and their reaction to Trump tweets criticizing the Fed. The funds market is where traders bet on where the Fed’s benchmark overnight lending rate will land. Policymakers watch for changes in how markets view where interest rates are heading.”

Trump’s tweets aimed at the Federal Reserve have been a constant, particularly with regard to interest rate policy. In return, the central bank has been saying that global market weakness could be stemming from the U.S.-China trade war—not a pointed attack at Trump but indirectly referencing his willingness to engage in a tariff-for-tariff battle.

“Overall, we find strong evidence that the consistent pressure applied by President Trump to pursue more expansionary monetary policy is manifested in the market expectations of a lower target rate, forecasting a steady erosion in central bank independence over the course of his presidency,” said the paper, authored by economists Francesco Bianchi of Duke University and Howard Kung and Thilo Kind at the London Business School.

“Our findings that market participants do not perceive the Federal Reserve as independent from the executive branch has indirect, but important, consequences for the actual autonomy of the central bank,” they added.

A Value-Added Option

One ETF that’s worth a look under the hood is the iShares MSCI EAFE Value ETF (BATS: EFV). While the extended bull run has given investors a wave of gains, the focus has returned to value and as such, the risk-off strategies are back in vogue. While this typically involves a move back to bonds, more defensive maneuvers into ETFs like EFV are also an option.

EFV seeks to track the investment results of the MSCI EAFE Value Index composed of developed market equities, excluding the U.S. and Canada, that exhibit value characteristics. As far as strategy goes, the fund generally invests at least 90% of its assets in securities of the underlying index and in depositary receipts representing securities of the underlying index.

For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.