Value Investment Partners Economic Outlook

July 2018

Though moderately volatile, July continued off the back of a very strong June, posting a steady return on the ASX. Notably, CIMIC Group recorded a strong month with +14.26%, as well as Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Challenger, posting returns of +8.03% and +5.16% respectively. In the US, Trump’s long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight charges, including breaking campaign finance rules. Given that these charges are directly linked to expenses paid to hush the extra-marital affair saga the President has since denied, this could have significant effects on Trump’s term as President. However, if anything, the last two years have proven that the POTUS is essentially untouchable despite all the misgivings on his character, dealings and alleged collusions with the Russian government. His former campaign chief Paul Manafort has also been convicted of eight charges including tax and bank fraud, although Trump was quick to distance himself from this case. Domestically, Australia has yet again found itself in a power struggle at the top of politics. After an unsuccessful attempt to take the highest position from Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Dutton has resigned from the cabinet and receded to the backbench. However, the support shown for Dutton among the Liberal Party has all but revealed that Turnbull’s days as Prime Minister are numbered, given the Liberals voted 48-35 in favour of Turnbull, meaning 35 were in support of a Dutton leadership spill. Already, 10 ministers have offered their resignation to Turnbull in support of Dutton, and Dutton has confirmed he is working on a second challenge. On the other side of the bench, the Labor Party simply needs to keep quiet and watch the Liberals implode. As the policies of the political party in charge of this country no doubt has a significant effect on the direction of investment, the movements in parliament are now more than ever in the forefront of VIP’s sights.