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Asset allocation Quarterly – April 2019

Summary Central banks turning dovish again – Markets rallied further in February, with the perceived pause in US monetary policy tightening acting as a major driver; easing measures by Chinese policymakers added to the positive backdrop. Remember 2016? – We see similarities to late 2015/early 2016 when a pause in US tightening and Chinese easing measures caused risky assets and carry trades to outperform. Downside growth risks persist – The economic cycle has clearly matured since 2016 and we continue to see more downside than upside risks to our base case. Given the sharp rally in markets this year, we are not chasing the recent moves. Fundamentals key medium term – While investors have recently focused on the Fed’s pause, we believe economic and corporate fundamentals will ultimately drive markets. We are monitoring corporate earnings trends closely. Worse risk-adjusted returns ahead  Despite the year-to-date market rally, we still expect a regime change towards lower returns and more volatility as the era of quantitative easing (QE) by central banks winds down eventually.  

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