Snapshot

Our multi-asset investment views - October 2020


Key

MAIN ASSET CLASSES

 
 

Equities

Despite ongoing pandemic risks, equities remain attractive compared to bonds and an expected shift into economic recovery should continue to support equity performance.

 

Government bonds

Although bond prices remain at historically high levels and have limited upside, central banks will likely be successful in keeping volatility low in government bond markets.

 
 

Commodities

We have downgraded our view as we await better visibility on fiscal stimulus plans after the US presidential election.

 

Credit

We retain a positive view overall, with a preference for higher quality, “investment grade” corporate bonds over lower quality non-investment grade (“high yield”).

Equities

 
 

US

We continue to prefer the US equity market which should continue to outperform other regional equity markets due to ample liquidity.

 

UK

Ongoing Brexit negotiations and a resurgence of Covid-19 infections make the UK our least preferred equity market.

 
 

Europe

With Covid-19 infections on the rise, many countries have been forced to increase lockdown measures. This will likely weigh on economic activity and delay their recoveries.

 
 

Japan

Whilst the economic recovery in Japan is underway, it remains to be seen whether the policies of newly appointed Prime Minister Suga will be different from his predecessor.

 

Pacific ex-Japan

We expect the region’s recovery to continue, aided by fiscal and monetary policies and hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Emerging markets

EM remains one of our preferred equity markets, driven by the strong recovery in China, US dollar weakness and commodity prices.

 

Government bonds

 
 

US

We continue to have a preference for shorter dated US Treasuries (US government bonds) as longer dated bonds are more vulnerable following the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) announcement to target an average inflation rate. The prices of shorter dated bonds are less sensitive to changes in interest rates.

 

UK

We maintain our view that there is less value in gilts (UK government bonds) given their poor relative returns.

 
 

Germany

Germany remains a very expensive market. The strong euro is also creating an additional headwind for the European Central Bank. 

 

Japan

Our view is unchanged. With inflation still likely to remain significantly lower than target, the Bank of Japan will need to keep unconventional policies in place.

 

US inflation linked bonds

The Fed recently said it would move to average inflation targeting and tolerate a moderate overshoot of inflation pressures, indicating that monetary policy will remain loose.

 

Emerging markets local currency bonds

We see medium-term opportunities in Latin America and Asia as they are likely to provide higher real (inflation-adjusted) yields.

 

Investment grade credit

 
 

US

Although credit spreads have limited room to tighten further, record issuance continues in the US.

 

Europe

We remain positive, despite valuations appearing stretched on a historic basis as fundamentals have surprised given depressed expectations.

 

Emerging markets USD

We continue to favour higher quality corporate credit based on more attractive valuations and a weaker US dollar.

 

High yield bonds (non-investment grade)

 
 

US

US high yield (HY) is less attractive than European HY as we see the fundamentals as weaker and recovery rates remain near record lows.

 

Europe

This remains our preferred market as stimulus packages announced so far should support European HY bond issuers.

 

Commodities

 
 
 

Energy

We have downgraded as supply/demand fundamentals will be less favourable over the next three to six months while volatility will remain elevated.

 
 

Gold

We have downgraded our view in light of the deepening bipartisan divide and the high hurdles for the Fed to further ease monetary policy. We prefer to wait for policy clarity before re-investing.

 

Industrial metals

Prices are supported by strong demand from China, mine supply and scrap metal constraints.

 
 

Agriculture

We have downgraded as prices are now falling back towards pre-Covid levels. However, research and development expenditure remains supportive for productivity gains to continue.

 

Currencies

 
 
 

US $

We have upgraded the US dollar as it offers defensive properties at a time when government bonds offer less protection against financial loss.

 

UK £

We remain neutral as an increase in Covid-19 cases and Brexit uncertainty are creating headwinds for the pound.

 
 

EU €

We have downgraded as the upcoming US elections will likely generate some volatility in the euro. With Covid-19 cases on the rise, we prefer to wait for clarity before re-investing in the euro.   

 
 

JPY ¥

As government bonds offer less protection against financial loss, we turn to the perceived safe haven of the yen to offer a degree of protection against the risk of a growth scare and/or escalating US tension.

 

Swiss franc ₣

We maintain our neutral stance on the Swiss franc given its high relative valuation, while acknowledging its longstanding role as a perceived “safe haven” currency.

 

Source: Schroders, October 2020. The views for equities, government bonds and commodities are based on return relative to cash in local currency. The views for corporate bonds and high yield are based on credit spreads (i.e. duration-hedged). The views for currencies are relative to the US dollar, apart from the US dollar which is relative to a trade-weighted basket.

Please note any past performance mentioned is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The sectors, securities, regions and countries shown are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be considered a recommendation to buy or sell.

The views and opinions contained herein are those of Schroders’ investment teams and/or Economics Group, and do not necessarily represent Schroder Investment Management North America Inc.’s house views. These views are subject to change. This information is intended to be for information purposes only and it is not intended as promotional material in any respect.