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Trump win catches ETF investors out as risk assets climb

Tuesday 29th November '16

Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US Presidential election caught many ETF investors out, as risk assets surprised to the upside and safe havens routed in the aftermath, WisdomTree has said.

WisdomTree’s Boost range of short and leveraged exchange traded notes has revealed that investors trying to protect themselves against an expected post-Trump sell-off actually missed out on further gains in US equities, which now sit at fresh record highs following upward moves of 3.0%.

Conversely, safe havens tumbled despite expectations that a Trump win would spark uncertainty and a flight to safety. Gold in particular has faced heavy selling pressure, falling by 5% to $1,209/oz since the election on 8 November.

Nick Leung, Research Analyst at WisdomTree, said: “The consensus prior to the result was that a win for Trump would be bearish for risk assets and bullish for safe havens, but this has not materialised and many investors have been left wrong-footed.”

Trading data for Boost ETPs in the five days after the US Presidential election reveals outflows of some $32m from long S&P 500 positions, with a further $5m invested in shorts. At the same time, turnover for Boost’s S&P 500 ETP also spiked, up almost 2.5x month-to date in November compared to the previous month.

In precious metals, Boost ETPs saw four times as much trading activity into long gold positions versus shorts in the five days after the result, despite the sell-off.
However, there is one area where investors have been spot on and that is in US treasuries, where yields have jumped violently as traders speculate on Trump’s victory leading to wider budget deficits, more government spending and rising inflation.
Yields on the 10Y have climbed nearly 50 bps to 2.3% so far, and investors have been playing this tactically via Boost’s products, favouring short positions across various leverage factors.

Leung added: “Global sovereign bond yields climbed violently as US inflationary expectations were revised upwards on the back of an expected increase in fiscal stimulus. I believe the ensuing bond sell-off may prompt investors to consider hedging their exposure now if they expect this trend to continue.”

Source: WisdomTree, Bloomberg

Notes to Editors

About WisdomTree Europe Ltd.

WisdomTree Investments, Inc., through its subsidiaries in the US, Europe and Japan (collectively, "WisdomTree"), is an exchange-traded fund ("ETF") and exchange-traded product ("ETP") sponsor and asset manager. WisdomTree offers products covering equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities and alternative strategies. Through WisdomTree Europe Ltd, it sponsors WisdomTree UCITS ETFs and Boost short and leverage ETPs. WisdomTree currently has approximately $39 billion (as of 30 September 2016) in assets under management globally. For more information, please visit

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