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Last year was a reminder of the interconnection between politics and markets. Many investors use ETFs for an efficient, flexible way to express a market view on a political event. Increasingly, investors are also using ETF options - both to express views and gauge market sentiment ahead of and during political events. With a full year of geopolitical events slated for 2020, consider watching ETF activity to provide insight into market sentiment.

2020 geopolitical calendar

Date Country/Region Event Related
iShares ETFs

First quarter
Jan 1 China Foreign Investment Law takes effect MCHI CNYA
Jan 1 U.S. US-Japan trade agreement takes effect ITOT USMV
Jan 1 U.S. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect ITOT USMV
Jan 14 U.S. / France Deadline for public comments on list of $2.4 billion of French imports proposed for U.S. tariffs EWQ  
Jan 21 Japan Bank of Japan meeting* EWJ  
Jan 23 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Jan 29 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  
Jan 31 UK Article 50 extension will expire EWU HEWU
February U.S. Primary races in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina ITOT  
February Iran Parliamentary elections KSA  
Feb 16 U.S. / China Temporary General License for the export of U.S. components and services to a Chinese telecommunications company expires MCHI CNYA
March China National People's Congress MCHI CNYA
Mar 2 Israel Parliamentary elections EIS  
Mar 3 U.S. Super Tuesday primary elections ITOT  
Mar 12 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Mar 18 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  

Second quarter
Apr 15 South Korea Parliamentary elections EWY  
Apr 28 Japan Bank of Japan meeting* EWJ  
Apr 29 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  
Apr 30 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Jun 4 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Jun 10 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  

Third quarter
July 13-16 U.S. Democratic National Convention IVV  
Jul 16 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Jul 22 Japan Bank of Japan meeting* EWJ  
Jul 29 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  
Aug 24-27 U.S. Republican National Convention ITOT USMV
Sep 10 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  

Fourth quarter
Sep 15-22 U.S. UN General Assembly IVV TLT
Sep 16 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  
Sep 30 U.S. End of fiscal year ITOT USMV
Oct 29 Japan Bank of Japan meeting* EWJ  
Oct 29 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Nov 3 U.S. Presidential and legislative elections ITOT USMV
Nov 4 U.S. U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords ICLN CRBN
Nov 5 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  
Nov 9-19 U.S. UN Climate Change Conference ICLN CRBN
Nov 21-22 Saudi Arabia G20 meeting KSA  
Dec 10 Euro area European Central Bank meeting* EZU  
Dec 16 U.S. Federal Reserve meeting TLT  
Dec 31 UK End of Brexit transition period EWU HEWU

* European Central Bank meetings shown are those accompanied by press conferences. The Bank of Japan events shown are followed by the publication of the central bank’s outlook report.

Geopolitical developments to watch

  • Gulf tensions
  • Brexit / European fragmentation
  • Russia - NATO conflict
  • Global trade
  • U.S. - China competition
  • Cybersecurity threats
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