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07 Sep 2018

Volatility: what to expect over the next few weeks


Any avid reader of the headlines over the holidays may have assumed equity returns would have been affected by all the talk of trade wars, geopolitical squabbles and Brexit. But once again, the stock markets sailed on relatively serenely. 


A mute point?

Barring the brief spike earlier in the year, volatility has been rather muted in developed markets, leaving them largely disconnected from all of the geopolitical tensions of recent times. As a result, valuations are still a little stretched but not sufficiently so in our view to trigger a bear market in general.

The real issue is whether you believe the economic upswing can be sustained. Recent manufacturing surveys results still point to robust growth in the US and stability in China. However, results in Germany and Japan seem to have peaked. Whatever your view on what these peaks signal, it could be worth preparing for some more volatility over the next few weeks. 

Global manufacturing survey results since 2005

Global manufacturing survey results since 2005

Sources: Lyxor AM International, ThomsonReuters Eikon, data as at 30/08/2018

Past performances are not indicative of future results.


What goes up... 

So what does happen when survey results peak? Peaks are of course inevitable, but they don’t in themselves guarantee recession, far from it. In fact, we can identify more than 20 peaks in the ISM since 1960 but only six recessions (two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth). The current configuration of results suggest that while some economies are no longer accelerating - may even be decelerating – we are nowhere near recession. 


Seasonally affected disorder

That said, we do expect more volatility post the summer. The charts below show the S&P 500 has tended to be more volatile in October than in any other month anyway since 1990. 

VIX Seasonality index (1990-2017)

                       chart 2

 Source:Thompson Reuters Datastream, Lyxor AM International, data as at 30/08/18

CBOE VIX INDEX (Monthly average of weekly data, in %)

          Chart 3

Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream, Lyxor AM, data as at 30/08/2018. Past performances are not indicative of future results 

By definition, few can predict the nature and timing of the market’s next outlier event. There are plenty of candidates including a full blown trade war, renewed concerns on China’s growth or the US entering an earlier-than-expected recession. Brexit negotiations will continue to dominate the front pages while the people will have their first say on the Trump presidency in the US mid-term elections on 6 November. 

Get your sitting ducks in a row

Both the House of Congress and the Senate are up for grabs at the mid-terms and is likely the Democrats will retake at least one of them, particularly with the President’s popularity level bobbing around below the 40% mark. For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over his policies and pronouncements, Trump has kept the equity bulls running, at least until now. But, as the chart below shows, US equities have tended to suffer larger-than-average losses ahead of almost every mid-term election since 1962. The maximum year-on-year decline of the S&P 500 during the June-October run-up to a mid-term is on average 16% - significantly higher than the 12% average during non-election years. 

Sources: Lyxor AM International, Bloomberg, data as at 04/09/2018

Past performances are not indicative of future results

Prepare for problems 

In these conditions, protecting more of what you already have may be front of mind. Our 50+ problem-solvers help you rise to any challenge, simply and cost-effectively. Whether you’re looking to find shelter against equity volatility, ride rising rates, or guard against currency moves, we offer a range of unique and groundbreaking solutions.

 

UCITS ETF Bloomberg ticker Trading currency 

Replication type

AuM1  (M€) TER1
Lyxor FTSE Europe Minimum Variance  MVAE FP

EUR

Indirect (Swap Based) 77 0.20%
Lyxor FTSE USA Minimum Variance  MVAU LN USD  Indirect (Swap Based) 93 0.20%
Lyxor FTSE EMU Minimum Variance  MVMU FP EUR Indirect (Swap Based) 31 0.20%
Lyxor FTSE All World Minimum Variance  MVAW LN USD Indirect (Swap Based) 12 0.30%
Lyxor FTSE Emerging Minimum Variance  MVAM LN USD Indirect (Swap Based) 20 0.40%
Lyxor SG Global Quality Income NTR  SGQD LN, SGQP LN USD,GBP Indirect (Swap Based) 1117 0.45%
Lyxor SG European Quality Income NTR SGQE LN EUR Indirect (Swap Based) 35 0.45%
Lyxor SG Japan Quality Income SGQJ LN USD Indirect (Swap Based) 36 0.45%
Lyxor FTSE UK Quality Low Vol Dividend (DR)  DOSH LN GBP Direct (Physical) 0.4 0.19%
Lyxor FTSE US Quality Low Vol Dividend (DR)  DIVU LN, BUCK LN GBP,USD Direct (Physical) 0.4 0.19%
Lyxor 10Y US Treasury Daily (-2x) Inverse * DSUS LN USD Indirect (Swap Based) 43 0.20%
Lyxor 10Y US Treasury Daily (-1x) Inverse * US1S FP EUR Indirect (Swap Based) 17 0.20%
Lyxor Smart Cash USD  SMTC LN, SMARTU IM USD,EUR Indirect (Swap Based) 144 0.12%
Lyxor Smart Cash GBP  CSH2 LN GBP Indirect (Swap Based) 48 0.06%
Lyxor Smart Cash EUR  CSH2 FP EUR Indirect (Swap Based) 705 0.05%
FLOT FP EUR Indirect (Swap Based) 1 0.15%
Lyxor $ Floating Rate Note  SWIM LN, BUOY LN GBP,USD Indirect (Swap Based) 379 0.10%

 

Source: Lyxor AM International, 1Data and TER as at 05/09/2018

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Compounding can lead to slippage over time between the index and the ETF. This slippage can be significant over periods longer than 1 business day, meaning these ETFs are typically unsuitable for investors planning to hold them for longer than one trading session unless used as part of a trading or hedging strategy. 
Any positions in these ETFs should be monitored on an ongoing basis. We recommend investors carefully read the 'risk factor' section of the product's prospectus and Key Investor Information Document (KIID), available for download on www.lyxoretf.com

Risk Warning

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For professional clients only. All views & opinion are sourced Lyxor Cross Asset, Lyxor ETF & SG Cross Asset Research teams as at  )5 September  2018 unless otherwise stated. Past performance is no guide to future returns.   

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