There is a sense of more optimistic economic news to come in 2013, which should bode well for equities, HSBC Private Bank said in one of its regular investment notes today.
The private bank is staking a neutral/overweight stance on equities, is neutral on fixed income, hedge funds and commodities, and takes a neutral/overweight stance on property and is overweight private equity.
The stance is broadly consistent with views from other major investment houses in recent days, such as shown by last week’s monthly global survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
“While the current slowdown is likely to continue in the coming months, we believe that the global economic outlook will start to improve in the coming quarters. We believe that the improvement in the risk backdrop is likely to support equity markets over the next 12 months, especially given still-attractive valuations,” Willem Sels, UK head of investment strategy, HSBC Private Bank, said in the note.
“Conversely, we expect demand for cash and safe haven bonds to decrease, implying gradually higher yields going forward, particularly given rising long term inflation expectations,” Sels said.
Explaining his more upbeat approach, Sels argues that there is now a “concerted and synchronised easing in monetary policy across the globe, which has been building for a number of months”.
“We know that these measures have a delayed impact on growth, but they do eventually work. By contrast some policymakers were still (erroneously) tightening policy in the first half of 2008, exacerbating the crisis we saw later that year,” he said.
“So in spite of the well-documented obstacles, we still face, both economic and political, we sense a whiff of optimism for a recovery of global growth and investor sentiment in 2013. In these circumstances, investors can start to add risk to their portfolios by taking advantage of any dips in equity markets to build their positions between now and the year end,” he said.