Here’s a brief summary of what’s been going on lately in markets:
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits turn out to be higher than expected whereas Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data come in better than expected. In the meantime, exchange rates in Turkey go up. It looks like foreign investors have already started to rebuy the stocks they sold only last month. Confused yet?
It’s quite ok that you’re confused because in many countries, a variety of parameters, considered as basic data during the last century, is now giving a lot of different signals. A parameter that works quite well a week ago may get worse next week. Investors seem deeply confused by sharp fluctuations in anything, including unemployment data, inflation, construction industry statistics, securities market. We’ve all seen what happened to markets before and after the Fed decision. After a total of 36 hours of stress, markets look like they got back to what they were a week ago. Reactions are exaggerated, numbers are confusing, and the road ahead is foggy. But the sun also rises amidst the fog.
The fact that Trump has imposed $50 billion in annual tariffs against China as of this morning, heightened tensions between China and the U.S. For a further analysis on this issue, we’ll have to wait for Monday.
“You should run too when everyone is running their own race, but…”
Yesterday, I gave a speech at a Far East-based investment group’s meeting. Group Vice President said that making business in Turkey is quite difficult indeed but for some reason, we feel deeply attached to this country. So, I told him that some foreign businesses have been operating in Turkey for more than 100 years. Although they all went through so much, they’ve never once thought about leaving Turkey despite many difficulties. But, in the end, they have accomplished pleasing results for their shareholders.
Once again, I realized that Europeans know us better than anyone else. We get along just fine when exporting, investing and even when importing.
However, Turkish export performance to Europe is not good enough as it should be. European Union imports $1,5 trillion whereas Turkish exports can only amount to $70-75 billion, which goes to show that Turkey still has a lot to do.
There’s this key strategy: “Always keep your old customers happy”, because, if you can make them keep coming back, you can increase sales turnover as well. This doesn’t mean you should stop finding new customers. But never take old customers for granted as it would be a huge mistake.