President Trump ’s import tariffs on metal and the possibility of retaliation from other nations has reportedly caused some fund managers to reduce their holdings of domestic stock and consider international opportunities.
A number of fund managers are looking to international markets as the prospect of higher interest rates in the U.S. helped spur weak growth in the stock market during February, Reuters reported, mentioning Wells Fargo, Oppenheimer and Federated.
Trump signed a proclamation on Thursday to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. He said that Mexico and Canada will be exempt from the tariffs and has left open the possibility for other countries to be exempted.
The administration’s high turnover of key staff is also leading to a lack of confidence in Trump’s policies, Reuters noted. Trump’s chief economic advisor Gary Cohn — a fervent supporter of free trade — resigned earlier this week after Trump announced his tariffs.
Synchronized economic growth in Europe, Asia and the Americas are currently leading to stronger international stocks. The eurozone has slightly higher gross domestic product than the U.S., though its companies’ price to earnings ratio is still below that of the U.S., Reuters reported.
Some fund managers are looking at emerging markets in places like China and Russia where there are high prospects of economic growth and low equity valuations, Brian Levitt, a senior investment strategist at OppenheimerFunds, told Reuters.
Levitt said that if Democrats are able to win a majority in at least one branch of Congress, it could reduce uncertainty by checking Trump’s attempts to implement protectionist policies. He also noted the difficulty of enacting policy with a divided government.