One area that is set to benefit from rising political tensions in the U.K. and the U.S. is likely to be the eurozone. Investors seeking to diversify should take a look at what the stock markets in that area have to offer.
The Brexit process to extricate Britain from the European Union looks more and more complicated. The pound crashed on political bickering about whether to go for a "hard" Brexit with no access to the European single market or a "soft" Brexit that would ensure access but also open immigration.
There is no easy way out of this dilemma. Meanwhile, other negative consequences of the U.K.'s vote to leave the EU are beginning to be felt.
Food giant Unilever (UL) - Get Report is in the middle of a spat with the U.K.'s biggest supermarket, Tesco (TSCDY) , over who should foot the bill for the pound's fall in value. Meanwhile, the Financial Times has calculated that the U.K. would have to pay around €20 billion ($22 billion) to settle what it owes the EU before leaving, because it must honor the commitments taken while still a member.
In the U.S., Donald Trump's representatives have denied allegations of past inappropriate sexual behavior by the Republican presidential candidate in a campaign that is heating up as the election approaches.
All the while, in the eurozone the economy is perking up: Industrial production picked up in August by 1.6% month on month and 1.8% year on year, led by Germany. This reversed a drop in July and eased fears that the British pound's devaluation vs. the euro would hurt eurozone companies' competitiveness.
The European Central Bank can pat itself on the back. Earlier in the week it received another sign that its quantitative easing efforts are working, as loans to households in the single-currency area increased by 1.7% in the second quarter compared with a 1.5% rise in the first quarter. News about households' wealth was even better; household net worth increased by 3.2% in the second quarter vs. 2.2% in the first quarter.
And there is no sign as yet that the ECB will begin tapering its quantitative easing policy, as some experts had feared. If anything, it may expand it or tweak it to ensure maximum efficiency, according to a recent Reuters report that also said any decisions might be taken at the bank's monetary policy meeting in December.
It is true that the eurozone has its own political challenges -- the Italian referendum on changing the constitution on Dec. 4 is a big one -- but for once the single-currency area looks like a less scary place for investors than either the U.S. or the U.K.
So perhaps it's time to increase exposure to this area. Those households will need to do something with their increasing loans, so the consumer sector is worthy of attention.
Looking at specific stocks, investors could start their research with Dutch bicycle maker Accell (ACGPF) , shares of which have gained 19% over the past year on the Amsterdam stock exchange. The company's gross profit has seen constant growth since 2010.
Another company to watch is in Italy -- admittedly not the first place investors think about when it comes to putting money into the eurozone. Caleffi is small-cap maker of luxury textiles for households, such as towels, linen and various furniture fabrics. It is only listed on the Milan stock exchange, so U.S. investors who do not have a European broker are unable to get exposure.
Investors in Caleffi's shares have seen them appreciate by 24% over the past year, as the small firm that posted disappointing results in the past sees its fortunes turning. The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization surged by 251% to almost €1.0 million ($1.1 million) in the first half of this year.
A third stock to watch is in France. U.S. investors need a European stockbroker for this one too. Trigano, listed on the Paris stock exchange under the symbol TRI, makes recreational vehicles such as camper vans and mobile homes as well as spare parts and accessories.
The shares jumped by 40% over the past year as sales of mobile homes surged by 52.2% in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31 due to the recovery in investment by camping site owners in France and strong exports. Sales of accessories for leisure vehicles increased by nearly 12%, helped by strong demand from fellow eurozone members Germany and the Netherlands.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Real Money at 9 a.m. on Oct. 13.
Employees of TheStreet are restricted from trading individual securities. Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider Caleffi to be a small-cap stock. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.