A cloudy plateau

In Short

Year-to-date gains in equities have melted since late July, as worries about high-for-long rates and the Israel/Hamas war dented risk appetite. Even the S&P500, despite solid US corporate earnings, has hit correction territory, down 10%. The Fed and ECB are sticking to the option of another rate increase for now. But their hiking cycles have likely drawn to a close – if for slightly different reasons.

Highlights:

 

  • Major central banks have reached peak rates, which are set to prove protracted plateaus. Yet markets now embrace an excessively hawkish outlook by pricing restrictive US rates far into the future. 
  • We keep overweights in IG Credit and EM bonds and underweights in Equities and HY Credit, but slightly trim the extent of the positions. We favour a moderately long duration in core and quasi Govies.
  • Major central banks have reached peak rates, which are set to prove protracted plateaus. Yet markets now embrace an excessively hawkish outlook by pricing restrictive US rates far into the future. 
  • This, as well as a bleaker growth outlook and safehaven flows amid geopolitical risks, may help yields to recede from recent peaks. But heavy supply and quantitative tightening will keep the decline modest. 
  • The relief on risk assets should be limited, given the deteriorating earnings outlook. The MSCI World, down 10% over the past three months, remains under pressure, despite positive seasonals into year-end.
  • We keep overweights in IG Credit and EM bonds and underweights in Equities and HY Credit, but slightly trim the extent of the positions. We favour a moderately long duration in core and quasi Govies.
  • This, as well as a bleaker growth outlook and safe-haven flows amid geopolitical risks, may help yields to recede from recent peaks. But heavy supply and quantitative tightening will keep the decline modest.
  • The relief on risk assets should be limited, given the deteriorating earnings outlook. The MSCI World, down 10% over the past three months, remains under pressure, despite
     

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A cloudy plateau
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