Monday, 17 October 2016

Stocks at risk from peak in globalisation

The Wall Street Journal reports that slowing world trade growth and moves toward protectionism pose risks for stocks.

U.S. equity prices have been supported for the past three decades by an acceleration of global trade and a freer flow of capital. Those lifted economic growth and allowed companies to take advantage of new markets and economies of scale. The S&P 500 is up nearly ninefold since October 1986, according to FactSet.

But now there is worry that the party is ending. “We believe globalization has probably reached its peak,” said Marino Valensise, head of the multiasset team at Barings, a member of the MassMutual Financial Group with $275 billion in assets under management. “The market won’t like it.”

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg report had highlighted similar views from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Some of the hottest trades of the past few years could stage a sharp reversal as global markets face "peaks" in liquidity, free trade, and income inequality.

That's the big-picture call from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, whose analysts argue in a report published Thursday that an apparent fightback against globalization in advanced economies represents a game-changer for global asset-allocation.

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