Perspectives Pictet

Perspectives Pictet

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Articles by Perspectives Pictet

House View, September 2020

A surge in new covid-19 cases in a number of countries has interrupted progress towards normality, yet the effects of the virus are becoming more manageable and positive world H2 growth is achievable.

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House View, August 2020

We have revised up our euro area GDP forecast for 2020 to -8.5%, mainly due to improving data in Germany, which is better positioned to recover rapidly from the downturn than its European peers. Meanwhile, the US economy has shown signs of flatlining amid escalating covid-19 cases in the South. Consumer confidence has taken a hit, while weekly unemployment claims have been rising again.

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House View, May 2020

With leading economies likely facing double-digit declines in GDP in Q1 and Q2, we expect Brent oil in the USD10–20 range in Q2 before reaching a long-term equilibrium of USD18 at year’s end. With consumers tempted to remain cautious, the oil sector in deep difficulty and a big rise in unemployment, we expect dire Q2 GDP figures for the US. We have reduced our GDP forecast for 2020 as a whole to -7.7%.

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A reality check on China’s return to work

The recent recovery in industrial activity seems to have stalled, probably because of the collapse in external demand and high levels of vigilance inside China. Since the large-scale coronavirus infection was contained, the Chinese government has been trying hard to get the economy back on track. The end of the lockdown in Wuhan after two in a half months is an important milestone in that respect.

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Central banks to the rescue

While expecting long-term yields to be capped, we remain neutral on US Treasuries. We think peripheral euro area bonds to avoid the levels of stress seen during the sovereign debt crisis.

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Weekly View – Merkel under pressure

Euro-area growth has hit a slow patch. Following promising signs of having turned a corner, economic data released last week revealed that Q4 growth in the euro area reached its slowest pace since the European debt crisis. German growth was flat for Q4, in line with expectations. As far as Germany’s outlook goes, dark clouds have taken the form of an uncertain political environment and China’s recent weakness.

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House View, January 2020

Our asset allocation is dominated by a wish to stay diversified in a fragile environment. Continued ‘noise’ around trade is likely to leave markets alternating between disappointment and hope. With this in mind, we have a neutral stance on government bonds and developed-market equities alike, although we still see select opportunities in equities and appreciate the protective function of safe-haven bonds.

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ECB: Preview of the review

Macroeconomic Staff Projections, 2019-2022

We see the ECB remaining on hold throughout next year although we believe it could tweak some of the technical parameters of its toolkit. The first press conference of any new ECB President is an event in itself, and this time will be no different. Christine Lagarde’s debut this week will understandably attract a lot of attention as the media and market participants scrutinise both form and substance.

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Upward pressure on equity volatility mitigated by fund flows

S&P 500 1-year Realised Volatility vs Effective Fed Funds Real Rates, 1990-2019

Whereas inflation is expected to be dormant next year, our expectation of real GDP growth of just 1.3% in the US in 2020 could put upward pressure on equity volatility. Since monetary policy tends to lead volatility by two and a half years, the Fed’s turn toward quantitative tightening in 2017 is also continuing to exert upward pressure on volatility levels for now.

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Core sovereign bonds 2020 Outlook

10-year Core Sovereign Yields, 2017-2019

Neutral US Treasuries. We expect the US 10-year yield to fall towards 1.3% in H1 as US growth falters and the US Federal Reserve starts signalling additional rate cuts. However, continued monetary easing and election promises (i.e. fiscal stimulus) could boost inflation expectations in H2, with the 10-year yield ending 2020 at around 1.6% in our central scenario.

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Euro Area 2020 Macro Outlook

After an estimated 1.2% in 2019, we expect GDP growth of 1.0% in the euro area in 2020. Country wise, we expect more manufacturing-intense countries to underperform more domestically driven ones. Thus, we project weak growth of 0.7% in Germany and 0.4% in Italy in 2020, while we expect France and Spain to remain relatively resilient, growing by 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively.

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Currencies: do it with style


Our scenario of ongoing global growth moderation and elevated political uncertainties should, we believe, support defensive currencies. We consider a currency ‘defensive’ if it is likely to remain resilient should global risk appetite falter.

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House View, December 2018

MSCI China and Emerging Markets Performance, 2018

We remain neutral on global equities overall, seeing relatively limited potential for developed market stocks in particular as earnings growth declines. We favour companies with pricing power as well as measurable growth drivers and low leverage.

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What will the rest of the year bring?

Risk assets have disappointed this year and global equities were trendless, but as long as fundamentals can re-assert themselves, there could still be some life in risk markets.Global equities were trendless and the overall performance of risk assets lacklustre in the first half of 2018.

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House View, July 2018

US, Japan and Europe Forward Price to Earnings

On a tactical, rolling three-to-six-month basis, we are tilting away from a bullish to a neutral stance on developed-market equities as trade and political frictions are rising. That said, we remain more upbeat on their prospects after the summer.

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House View, May 2018

Crude Oil Supply: Major Producers, 2010 - 2018

Pictet Wealth Management’s latest positioning across asset classes and investment themes. In spite of a certain loss of momentum in positive surprises, a strong Q1 earnings season continues to justify our bullish stance on equities in most regions. We reiterate our negative view on core government bonds and remain short duration. Volatility is still higher than last year, and has increased noticeably in the bond market once again.

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House View, April 2018

House View Equities, April 2018

Pictet Wealth Management’s latest positioning across asset classes and investment themes. While macroeconomic and corporate fundamentals still favour risk assets, challenges have been steadily increasing and a lot of good news is already priced into valuations. We sold part of our equity overweight during the early March rally.

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The future of cities

Working People

The digital revolution has launched a wave of innovation in the world’s cities, says MIT’s Carlo Ratti, providing opportunities to improve urban mobility and create better workspaces for the changing nature of work. These are exciting times for cities, according to Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab and co-founder of Carlo Ratti Associati architecture studio.

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