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Investment expertise

Monthly Investment Outlook

Monthly Investment Outlook

We publish a Monthly Investment Outlook that highlights our convictions on equities and bonds, as well as recent asset allocation changes.



Summary

  • MONTHLY INVESTMENT OUTLOOK - Investing in a Time of Geopolitical Uncertainty
  • GLOBAL TACTICAL ASSET ALLOCATION - Focus on capital preservation rather than reaching for return
  • UBP ECONOMIC OUTLOOK - Headwinds continue to weigh down on the cycle
  • UBP ECONOMIC OUTLOOK - How far is the US from recession?
  • GLOBAL EQUITIES - H2020 earnings risks coming into focus
  • GLOBAL BONDS - Lowering exposure to Emerging market debt
  • RECENT VIEW CHANGES - Adding yen as an additional “risk-off” asset; risk management in emerging debt space

  • As expected, US and ECB communications disappointed markets and the ongoing US-China conflict flared once again in August leading to the return of volatility. Long-dated bond yields and equities fell sharply over the month.
  • Pressure on the global economic outlook continues to build. The global economy will rely increasingly on countercyclical policy action in order to offset looming geopolitical shocks including hard consumer-focused tariffs (Sep 1) and potentially a hard Brexit (Oct 31).
  • Global central banks’ ability to influence the economic cycle is increasingly limited leaving fiscal policymakers to pick up the baton of stimulus moving into 2020. Debates about fiscal stimulus have already begun in Germany and the appointment of the new EU/ECB leadership should accelerate these discussions looking ahead.
  • A new regime of combined increased monetary and fiscal activity looking into 2020 is a more credible catalyst to sustained growth and earnings looking forward. Absent this, pressure on long-term bond yields should remain with US yields having de-rated and set to trade in a 0.8-1.5% range looking ahead. Credit spreads remain tight with central bank action continuing to arrest sustained widening, albeit accompanied by rising volatility.
  • 2019 earnings expectations continue to drift lower. However, attention should shift in coming months to 2020 earnings expectations of 10% which appear overly optimistic. Despite equity market falls in August, valuations, even taking optimistic earnings assumptions for 2020, misprice the ongoing slowdown in the US and global economy
  • With few upside surprises expected from policymakers, the global economy or earnings, the most compelling surprise prospects rest with earlier-than-expected fiscal stimulus or a reprieve on the geopolitical front either around the EU-UK (Brexit) or US-China axes all against a backdrop of already cautiously positioned investors.
  • We continue to believe that our asymmetric equity exposure will prove valuable moving into the autumn. Stock selection alpha should also be increasingly beneficial.
  • Investors should shift their risk management focus to fixed income. An absolute return, risk-focused, hold-to-maturity approach is preferred to overreaching for return. Active risk management in EM debt is prudent given escalating US-China tensions.
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Investment Outlook 2019

A look back on UBP's Investment Outlook

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