Markets are now bullish compared to December 2018, largely driven by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank going dovish, just like the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of Japan in terms of monetary policy guidance, given the apparent economic growth slowdown. This bullishness was further reinforced when the US extended the March 1 deadline to hike trade tariffs on Chinese products indefinitely, as analysts viewed this as a reduction in the risk of a further escalation in trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. While the market is now focused on the Brexit fiasco after two UK parliamentary votes — one against UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s amended Brexit deal and the other against the UK leaving the EU without a deal — the trade wars seem to have been forgotten. For the ordinary South African, the pain of global trade wars and Brexit will show its ugly head in the months ahead. One would think the trade war between China and the US must be good fo...

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