Snapshot - Market Views: Multi-Asset

Our multi-asset views for January 2019

Snapshot: In our latest monthly update we highlight the need to strike a balance between improving valuations but worsening momentum indicators.

01/18/2019

Multi-Asset Investments

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Asset classes

 
 

Equities

We expect momentum to remain weak in coming weeks with risks of further downgrade to earnings outlook, although possible value to be harvested in medium/longer term.

 
 

Government bonds

Having added to government bonds in Q4 we are inclined to take some profits. On a 6-12 month view, we expect to be more positive given our expectation for slower growth in 2019/2020. Our score is neutral but we may buy on dips.

 
 

Commodities

We see limited upside given cyclical and macro headwinds, unless US-China trade tensions dramatically ease.

 

Credit

The recent rise in yields has created some select value opportunities. However, we continue to retain our cautious outlook on a strategic basis.

 

Equities

 
 
 

US

While investors continue to evaluate the risk of an early recession, we expect the market to remain volatile. Despite improving valuations, outlook could be revised down further.

 

Europe

We remain cautious based on concerns that earnings for EU companies are deteriorating faster than in other regions, and economic activity indicators remain weak.

 

UK

We expect the market to remain volatile as sterling (GBP) swings associated with Brexit impact UK equities.

 
 

Japan

With the deteriorating outlook for global growth and a stronger yen (JPY), exports may continue to face challenges, while there is not enough evidence of a pick-up in domestic activities.

 

Pacific ex-Japan

Given the relatively connected nature of the regional economy to global trade, the risk of a disappointing data print may offer intra-regional opportunities.

 

Emerging markets

Valuations now look attractive, and a pause in tightening from the Fed would restrict USD strength and help EM assets.

 

Government bonds

 
 
 

US

Whilst valuations look high, this appears justified by mounting cyclical pressures. Treasuries may be over-extended short term, but we are buyers on dips.

 

UK

Brexit uncertainty continues to complicate the outlook for gilts. We are neutral, preferring to take risk elsewhere.

 

Germany

Bunds look rich but European data continues to disappoint, calling into question the ability of the European Central Bank to tighten policy in 2019.

 

Japan

Whilst Japanese data has shown a rebound from 2018’s weather/tsunami effects, we nonetheless expect the Bank of Japan to leave policy unchanged.

 
 

US inflation linked

We continue with our positive view that US breakevens offer value.

 

Emerging markets local

We remain neutral as the cyclical headwind trumps improved valuations.

 

Investment grade (IG) corporate bonds

 
 

US

The increasing cost of leverage will likely weigh on corporate earnings, while the continuing deterioration in the quality of the universe is also a source of vulnerability.

 

Europe

Notwithstanding political noise, recent price moves have created some value opportunities. That said, while our metrics suggest a move to attractive levels, we remain cautious.

 

Emerging markets USD

We believe that the recent widening has created some pockets of opportunity, principally amongst higher quality credits.

 

High yield bonds

 
 

US

From a strategic perspective, spreads are likely to drift wider, reflecting late cycle dynamics and supply overhangs from both investment grade and loan markets.

 

Europe

Europe is expected to underperform US on a duration/rating adjusted basis.

 

Commodities

 
 

Energy

Our view remains unchanged given markedly improved fundamentals and a stable (as opposed to a rising) oil price, which we expect to support reasonable levels of returns.

 

Gold

We believe that divergence in economic growth has probably peaked, and going forward the likelihood of growth convergence would be favourable to gold.

 

Industrial metals

Leading indicators of China growth are still in a downward trend and shadow bank financing is still shrinking, weighing on the demand outlook.

 

Agriculture

This sector has relatively low sensitivity to global growth and equity volatility, and is supported by supply/demand dynamics and weather risks in 2019 H1.

 

Currencies

 
 

US dollar

Our base-case is still for global growth and sentiment stabilisation whilst the US economy softens further.

 

UK sterling

Whilst a no-deal Brexit is still a possibility, this appears to have been priced into GBP.

 

Euro €

US growth weakness and (crucially) the Fed readjusting its rate hiking expectations allows for sentiment stabilisation in EUR.

 

Japanese yen ¥

The yen remains the most undervalued G10 currency and an effective hedge against further growth disappointment.

 

Swiss franc ₣

Recent Swiss franc strength is at odds with weak growth data, which should force the Swiss National Bank to keep monetary policy dovish.