Thursday, 6 October 2016

IMF concerned that debt level could lead to "unprecedented private deleveraging"

Markets were mixed on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.5 percent.

Helping to boost US stocks was a 2.3 percent rise in US crude futures, a welcome relief for energy stocks, which are expected to report an earnings decline of 67 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.

Niladri Mukherjee, a strategist at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, recommended that investors stick with stocks for now, despite the risk of mounting political and policy uncertainties and elevated valuations.

“Broadly speaking, we still expect equities to outperform fixed income as global growth is picking up and earnings revision ratios have improved in recent months,” he said.

However, the International Monetary Fund warned in its Fiscal Monitor report released on Wednesday that global growth could be hampered by high debt levels.

“At 225 percent of world GDP, the global debt of the nonfiancial currently at an all-time high,” it said. “There are concerns that the sheer size of debt could set the stage for an unprecedented private deleveraging process that could thwart the fragile economic recovery.”

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