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01 Apr 2019

5 things to do in Q2


Markets have recovered since their meltdown of late last year, but tension is never too hard to find. So what’s going to be driving them over the next few months? Lyxor’s Cross Asset Research team has the answers.

Overview

A fragile kind of Spring is in the air for the global economy, with improvements in some indicators suggesting the slowdown may have bottomed out. Others however look less promising. The US economy is still running above trend, but China, the eurozone and the UK are not. Their momentum has picked up recently though, as fiscal policies have become more assertively supportive and central banks have hit the pause button.

Manufacturing activity has been hampered by the trade tensions, but the services sectors have held up well on the back of sustained domestic demand. Corporate earnings are still being revised downwards, but the turnaround should help businesses achieve decent, single-digit earnings growth in most markets. The trade truce appears to be holding, but politics has never been harder to predict.

We expect the markets to lack directionality until they’ve seen more conclusive evidence on the path forward, whether positive or negative – but we still view a modest recovery as the most likely outcome.


The key supports: 

  • More predictable conditions - uncertainty has receded as US-China trade negotiations have progressed and the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has diminished.
  • China stimulus -  a pick-up in credit growth suggests new measures are feeding through to the real economy. March’s new measures should add further support. We’ve revised our GDP growth forecast upwards.
  • Easier policy mix - central banks are generally in retreat and seem determined not to tighten too fast, too soon. Fiscal policies are also being relaxed in key regions (US, China, Europe).


The key risks:

  • Trade turns again – the US may threaten more tariffs to try to extract concessions from trading partners. European and Japanese car exporters are on alert.
  • Politics causes more problems – the situation in Europe may remain volatile, with Brexit still baffling and populism rising ahead of May’s EU elections.
  • Recession – in our view, the risk is there but it remains remote at least for 2019.


A word on inflation

Global inflation should remain tame as oil prices are levelling off post their recent recovery and wage growth looks contained. Brent crude should hover at around $70 per barrel for most of the year so it could be time to lock in any recent gains.


5 ways to invest in Q2

1. Go for global equities

The bottoming out of growth has encouraged us to increase our exposure to equities. Downward earnings revisions have been slowing, and we still expect positive EPS growth in key regions this year. We expect high single digit returns for the US and eurozone markets over the next 12 months, and slightly lower returns for the UK. Japan may be in the slow single digit bracket. Valuations look fair and could improve as uncertainty lifts.

2. Add to eurozone equities

Despite the headlines and the widespread mistrust, we believe the eurozone offers more upside potential to investors than any other equity market. Economic surprises are turning positive given a more assertive policy mix, the euro is more competitively priced than it was, and valuations are more attractive than elsewhere.

Check out our European range

3. Expand your emerging exposure

Easing trade tensions, almost orchestrated central bank retreat from policy tightening and dollar weakness have been the key drivers of performance and flows so far. And, for now at least, we don’t see that changing. The opening-up of China domestic equity markets and solid growth drivers across should help EM equities rally further, although you may need to add a local twist to your portfolios to make the most of the opportunity. EPS growth of around 7% should add support to valuations which are still cheaper than in the developed world.

Read more on the range

4. Double up on EMD

When it comes to bonds, we expect more policy support from most EM central banks. As long as US rate expectations remain subdued, easier external funding conditions should give those countries with real currency sensitivity or heavy external debt burdens more breathing room. Lesser inflation pressures also offer ample scope for rate cuts. Local and hard currency bonds should benefit for a while yet.

Get the full outlook on emerging markets

5. Choose credit over sovereigns

We remain underweight sovereign bonds across mainstream markets like the US, eurozone and UK. If you do have to hold them, we’d advocate shorter durations only. We are still positive on the outlook for credit and high yield in particular.  The latter should be underpinned by attractive risk-adjusted returns, the dovish monetary policy stance and low default rates.

Read our thought on high yield

Relevant products


Source: Lyxor International Asset Management, TER and AuM as at 27/03/2019. All views and opinions, Lyxor Cross Asset Research, as at 29 March 2019 unless otherwise stated.

Risk Warning​

This document is for the exclusive use of investors acting on their own account and categorised either as “Eligible Counterparties” or “Professional Clients” within the meaning of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU. These products comply with the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC). Société Générale and Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM) recommend that investors read carefully the “investment risks” section of the product’s documentation (prospectus and KIID). The prospectus and KIID are available free of charge on www.lyxoretf.com, and upon request to client-services-etf@lyxor.com.

Except for the United-Kingdom, where this communication is issued in the UK by Lyxor Asset Management UK LLP, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under Registration Number 435658, this communication is issued by Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM), a French management company authorized by the Autorité des marchés financiers and placed under the regulations of the UCITS (2014/91/EU) and AIFM (2011/61/EU) Directives. Société Générale is a French credit institution (bank) authorised by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (the French Prudential Control Authority).

The products mentioned are the object of market-making contracts, the purpose of which is to ensure the liquidity of the products on the London Stock Exchange, assuming normal market conditions and normally functioning computer systems. Units of a specific UCITS ETF managed by an asset manager and purchased on the secondary market cannot usually be sold directly back to the asset manager itself. Investors must buy and sell units on a secondary market with the assistance of an intermediary (e.g. a stockbroker) and may incur fees for doing so. In addition, investors may pay more than the current net asset value when buying units and may receive less than the current net asset value when selling them. Updated composition of the product’s investment portfolio is available on www.lyxoretf.com. In addition, the indicative net asset value is published on the Reuters and Bloomberg pages of the product, and might also be mentioned on the websites of the stock exchanges where the product is listed.

Prior to investing in the product, investors should seek independent financial, tax, accounting and legal advice. It is each investor’s responsibility to ascertain that it is authorised to subscribe, or invest into this product. This document is of a commercial nature and not of a regulatory nature. This material is of a commercial nature and not a regulatory nature. This document does not constitute an offer, or an invitation to make an offer, from Société Générale, Lyxor Asset Management (together with its affiliates, Lyxor AM) or any of their respective subsidiaries to purchase or sell the product referred to herein.

Research disclaimer

Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) or its employees may have or maintain business relationships with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that LIAM and its employees may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. Please see appendix at the end of this report for the analyst(s) certification(s), important disclosures and disclaimers. Alternatively, visit our global research disclosure website www.lyxoretf.com/compliance.

Conflicts of interest 

This research contains the views, opinions and recommendations of Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists. To the extent that this research contains trade ideas based on macro views of economic market conditions or relative value, it may differ from the fundamental Cross Asset and ETF Research opinions and recommendations contained in Cross Asset and ETF Research sector or company research reports and from the views and opinions of other departments of LIAM and its affiliates. Lyxor Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists routinely consult with LIAM sales and portfolio management personnel regarding market information including, but not limited to, pricing, spread levels and trading activity of ETFs tracking equity, fixed income and commodity indices. Trading desks may trade, or have traded, as principal on the basis of the research analyst(s) views and reports. Lyxor has mandatory research policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to (i) ensure that purported facts in research reports are based on reliable information and (ii) to prevent improper selective or tiered dissemination of research reports. In addition, research analysts receive compensation based, in part, on the quality and accuracy of their analysis, client feedback, competitive factors and LIAM’s total revenues including revenues from management fees and investment advisory fees and distribution fees.

Risk Warning​

This document is for the exclusive use of investors acting on their own account and categorised either as “Eligible Counterparties” or “Professional Clients” within the meaning of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU. These products comply with the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC). Société Générale and Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM) recommend that investors read carefully the “investment risks” section of the product’s documentation (prospectus and KIID). The prospectus and KIID are available free of charge on www.lyxoretf.com, and upon request to client-services-etf@lyxor.com.

Except for the United-Kingdom, where this communication is issued in the UK by Lyxor Asset Management UK LLP, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under Registration Number 435658, this communication is issued by Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM), a French management company authorized by the Autorité des marchés financiers and placed under the regulations of the UCITS (2014/91/EU) and AIFM (2011/61/EU) Directives. Société Générale is a French credit institution (bank) authorised by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (the French Prudential Control Authority).

The products mentioned are the object of market-making contracts, the purpose of which is to ensure the liquidity of the products on the London Stock Exchange, assuming normal market conditions and normally functioning computer systems. Units of a specific UCITS ETF managed by an asset manager and purchased on the secondary market cannot usually be sold directly back to the asset manager itself. Investors must buy and sell units on a secondary market with the assistance of an intermediary (e.g. a stockbroker) and may incur fees for doing so. In addition, investors may pay more than the current net asset value when buying units and may receive less than the current net asset value when selling them. Updated composition of the product’s investment portfolio is available on www.lyxoretf.com. In addition, the indicative net asset value is published on the Reuters and Bloomberg pages of the product, and might also be mentioned on the websites of the stock exchanges where the product is listed.

Prior to investing in the product, investors should seek independent financial, tax, accounting and legal advice. It is each investor’s responsibility to ascertain that it is authorised to subscribe, or invest into this product. This document is of a commercial nature and not of a regulatory nature. This material is of a commercial nature and not a regulatory nature. This document does not constitute an offer, or an invitation to make an offer, from Société Générale, Lyxor Asset Management (together with its affiliates, Lyxor AM) or any of their respective subsidiaries to purchase or sell the product referred to herein.

Research disclaimer

Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) or its employees may have or maintain business relationships with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that LIAM and its employees may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. Please see appendix at the end of this report for the analyst(s) certification(s), important disclosures and disclaimers. Alternatively, visit our global research disclosure website www.lyxoretf.com/compliance.

Conflicts of interest 

This research contains the views, opinions and recommendations of Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists. To the extent that this research contains trade ideas based on macro views of economic market conditions or relative value, it may differ from the fundamental Cross Asset and ETF Research opinions and recommendations contained in Cross Asset and ETF Research sector or company research reports and from the views and opinions of other departments of LIAM and its affiliates. Lyxor Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists routinely consult with LIAM sales and portfolio management personnel regarding market information including, but not limited to, pricing, spread levels and trading activity of ETFs tracking equity, fixed income and commodity indices. Trading desks may trade, or have traded, as principal on the basis of the research analyst(s) views and reports. Lyxor has mandatory research policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to (i) ensure that purported facts in research reports are based on reliable information and (ii) to prevent improper selective or tiered dissemination of research reports. In addition, research analysts receive compensation based, in part, on the quality and accuracy of their analysis, client feedback, competitive factors and LIAM’s total revenues including revenues from management fees and investment advisory fees and distribution fees.

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