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Tuesday 28 June 2022
June 2022 | As we depart an era of low inflation and easy access to capital and enter a period marked by higher inflation, higher commodity prices, and higher interest rates, we believe the market has already begun to rotate out of the narrow cohort of mega-cap growth stocks that have been leading the market. We believe active managers may benefit from this shift as excessive concentration levels in US equities unwind, providing greater market breadth.
01 | Changes in market concentration may serve as a tailwind for active equity managers who underweight the largest five stocks for diversification reasons.
02 | Due to their flexibility and ability to diversify – as well as a shift toward value and away from growth - active equity managers could outperform passive approaches for the next several years.
03 | Active managers that integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their analysis may also have an additional edge in this environment, as equity flows into ESG portfolios are increasing.
Unless otherwise stated, all information contained in this document is from Amundi Asset Management US (Amundi US) and is as of June 28, 2022. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss. The views expressed regarding market and economic trends are those of the author and not necessarily Amundi US and are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions, and there can be no assurance that countries, markets or sectors will perform as expected. These views should not be relied upon as investment advice, a security recommendation, or as an indication of trading for any Amundi product. This material does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security, fund units or services. Investment involves risks, including market, political, liquidity and currency risks. Past performance is not a guarantee or indicative of future results. Amundi Asset Management US is the US business of the Amundi Asset Management group of companies.
We predict that 2023 will be a two-speed year, with plenty of risks to watch out for. Bonds are back, market valuations are getting more attractive, and a Fed pivot in the first part of the year could trigger interesting entry points. We expect global growth to slow significantly, with several countries across both developed markets and EM suffering stagnation, while others may face a slowdown at best.
Markets have seen some recent relief in a year that overall is likely to be remembered as among the most challenging for investors. This recent market move has been supported by an alignment of stars on various fronts: (1) US inflation on a downward path, wherein we believe the market rally and the exuberance is excessive, as the Fed will remain focused on the inflation target and it is too early to claim victory there; (2) The earnings season was bad but not as bad as feared; (3) China’s COVID-19 policy relaxation, which has happened earlier than expected, but full reopening will be in 2024; and (4) Geopolitical uncertainty, with regard to which there has been some pause after elections – in the US, the mid-terms saw no major surprises and were quickly digested by the market, which reacted well to a divided government that should deter populist policies.
Central banks are working out how far they should go in terms of their aggressive tightening talk. The strong job market does not support a shift in stance from the Fed; while signs of moderation are emerging in wage growth, it remains above pre-crisis trends, and inflation is persistent and challenging. While the peak in US inflation is likely behind us, recent data confirm that core inflation remains sticky. Financial conditions are tight, but could become even tighter as the Fed’s risk of overshooting remains high. Globally, questions over long-term debt sustainability come at a time when markets are clearly addicted to central bank liquidity. As we saw in the UK, the miscalibration of fiscal and monetary policies can force a central bank to step in.
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