Overseas Headlines – August 20, 2021

United States:

Bearish Bets on Stocks Outside the U.S. Emerge Timed to Fed

“Some investors appear to be hedging against a slump in stocks outside the U.S., given prospects for a potential stronger dollar should the Federal Reserve announce plans to taper stimulus at its September meeting. New bearish bets with Sept. 24 expiries are evident on the iShares MSCI EAFE (ticker EFA) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (ticker EEM) ETFs. The trades appear to be targeting the September FOMC meeting, according to Susquehanna derivatives strategist Chris Murphy.”



U.K. Budget Deficit Narrows to Almost Half of Pandemic Level

“U.K. government borrowing in the first four months of the fiscal year was running at little more than half the level a year earlier as the economy returned to normality after months of restrictions. The budget deficit stood at 78 billion pounds ($106 billion) between April and July, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. That compares with 139.7 billion pounds in the same period of 2020, when the economy was under siege from the coronavirus pandemic.”



Hong Kong’s Benchmark Stock Index Slumps Into Bear Market

“Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index entered a technical bear market, amid a deepening rout triggered by investor concerns over China’s regulatory crackdown across a swathe of industries. The Hang Seng Index fell 1.8% on Friday, taking losses from its recent Feb. 17 peak to more than 20%. That extended its weekly loss to 5.8%, the worst showing since March 2020, with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Meituan weighting on the gauge Friday.”




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