Markets had a little bit of a wobble last week, with the MSCI All Country World Index of global equities falling by -1.1% in Sterling terms. The best performing markets were in the Emerging Markets and Japan, which posted small positive gains. This was, however, offset by falls in the US and Continental Europe. Within Fixed Income, High Yield Bonds managed to rally despite the wider risk-off mood, while Global Treasuries and Investment Grade Bonds posted losses.
In the forthcoming US Presidential Election, polls have been pointing towards a “Blue Wave” whereby the Democrats would take both the presidency and both houses of Congress. Markets believe this would result in larger stimulus spending, higher inflation and higher interest rates. This has seen a recent pivot towards parts of the market that have been unloved for quite some time, namely Value stocks, Small Cap stocks and away from US Treasury Bonds. The persistent outperformance of US Large Cap Tech stocks may end following a Biden victory, as the Democrats are likely to call for increased taxation and regulation.
The other wave that markets are currently preoccupied with is, of course, the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping Europe. France is facing up to 100,000 cases per day, and Italy and Spain announced sweeping additional restrictions on their populations on Sunday, in an attempt to get on top of the virus’s spread. These developments, among many others, affirm our belief that Continental European shares are relatively unattractive versus those in Japan and the Emerging Markets.
In better news, there have been positive developments in both the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial (which produced a robust immune response in elderly people) and the Pfizer vaccine (which is progressing for emergency approval from the FDA in the US). These developments could have big market impacts, and we feel we are well positioned for such opportunities. When navigating across a sea of choppy waves, investors would do well to look to the far-off horizon for stability… and try not to get seasick.
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The content of this document is for information only. It is advisable that you discuss your personal financial circumstances with a financial adviser before undertaking any investments.
All the data contained in the communication is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. Unless otherwise specified all information is produced as of 26th October 2020.