BNP AM

The sustainable investor for a changing world

Given that the current downturn is truly global, the marked gap between the optimism among equity analysts and the caution voiced by economists is striking. We also do not follow the market’s belief that central banks will soon throttle back on raising interest rates given the flow of poor economic news. Can the end of their rate rising cycle really be already in sight?

Not for us. Inflation is unlikely to evaporate quickly enough. The Ukraine war will likely keep (commodity) prices high; supply-chain bottlenecks will also persist. High house prices will likely keep pressure on rents. Wage demands are rising in response to a tight labour market and high inflation.

We expect it will take more central bank tightening, and a bigger contraction in growth, before inflation falls to anywhere near policymakers’ targets.

Portfolio adjustments

Our multi-asset portfolios are cautiously positioned.

We made four changes to portfolio positioning:

• We upgraded credit to ‘favour’, looking in particular at European investment-grade

• In European duration, we tactically deepened our short position give the likelihood of fiscally-led responses to the gas crisis

• We deepened our tactical exposure to commodities in the face of factors such as resource nationalism, greenflation and support from an easing Chinese macroeconomic policy

• We sold our modest emerging market exposure in equities, while keeping our Chinese and Japanese exposures against a broadly offsetting European short.

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Disclaimer

Please note that articles may contain technical language. For this reason, they may not be suitable for readers without professional investment experience. Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. This document does not constitute investment advice. The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns. Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions). Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

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