Financial leaders from the world’s biggest economies found common ground on foreign exchange at a G20 meeting on Saturday but failed to agree on trade, highlighting a global shift towards protectionism and setting a cautious tone for financial markets.
The Group of 20 powers meeting in the German spa town of Baden-Baden reiterated their long-standing warnings against competitive devaluations and disorderly FX markets, allaying fears that the new U.S. administration might have opened up a chink in the G20’s united front on global currency policy.
For markets, no change to G20’s stance on FX is welcome news. Having the world’s financial and economic powers on the same page should help keep FX volatility low, a cornerstone for stable markets and rising asset prices more broadly.
But failure to agree on a commitment to keep global trade free and open will have negative consequences for financial markets, even if not dramatically