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- January 1, 2019: Vol. 13, Number 1

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Fears of global trade war escalation spook managers

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Fears of a full-blown trade war led by the US are leaving some managers fearful of a significant hit to global GDP in 2019.

Speaking at the MSCI/IPF property investment conference on 15 November in Brighton, UK, Eoin Murray, head of investment at Hermes Investment Management, expressed his uneasiness at the prospect of rising tariffs, saying that he was not convinced that trade tensions would de-escalate in 2019, as has been predicted by some commentators. “There’s a sense that it’s [President] Trump’s bravado that has pushed this discourse on Twitter,” said Murray. “But I’m not sure that will be the case. With a split house in the US, trade and tariffs is one of the few areas over what he has complete control. He doesn’t need support from the House of Representatives or Senate to pursue his ambitions.”

Murray is also worried that the effect of an extended global trade war will be more damaging than currently estimated, with most studies from bodies s

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