Schroders Equity Lens: your go-to lens on global equity markets
Our Q1 analysis highlights the charts and data that matter to global equity investors.
What’s been driving stock prices? Are they currently expensive or cheap? And which regions and sectors are poised to do well next?
These are some of the questions we aim to answer in our quarterly publication – the Schroders Equity Lens, a compilation of key trends in global equities illustrated through thought-provoking charts.
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Global equities ended the year on a high note, rallying by 6.8% in Q4, as a strong earnings season coupled with a relatively stable interest rate environment supported performance.
However, the spread of the Omicron variant, rising inflation and waning monetary stimulus weighed on valuations.
The best performing region was the US (+10.1%). Europe (+5.8%) and UK (+5.6%) also performed reasonably well (all in local currency terms). In contrast, slowing Chinese credit growth hit EM (-0.4%) and Japanese (-3.9%) returns.
Our analysis suggests that the slowdown in China is yet to be fully reflected in developed market equity performance.
In terms of sectors, performance was relatively mixed across cyclicals and defensives.
IT was the highest returning sector (+12.7%), but defensives also did reasonably well, including utilities (+10.4%) and real estate (+9.1%).
Communication services (-1.5%) and energy (+3.3%) were the lowest returning sectors.
Looking ahead, global equity earnings are expected to grow by only 7% in 2022 versus 53% in 2021. In addition, valuations could contract further as central banks hike interest rates.
According to our composite valuation indicator, UK and Japanese equities are now trading close to their 10-year historical average.
Meanwhile, EM equities have derated significantly since their peak in January 2021 and are only slightly expensive. In contrast, the US and Europe continue to look the most expensive.
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