Equity And Bond Investors Agree To Disagree

Stock and bond investors seem to have very different assessments of the impact of the virus: despite a pickup in realised volatility, equity markets (especially in the developed world) have reached new highs over the last couple of weeks. The VIX index rose above 17 at the end of last week, but is well below the levels seen in August 2019 in the midst of the US-China trade war (24.6) or at the end of December 2018 when recession fears gripped markets (36). Implied earnings growth rates for equities remain solidly positive, even for the MSCI Emerging Markets index (about 5% over the next year). The view from the equity market seems clear: COVID-19 is a risk but should not derail the supportive context for corporate earnings and stock prices.

How effective is China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak?

Virus Spread Maintains Pressure On Equity Markets

Equity markets tumbled worldwide following the wide spread of the coronavirus epidemic beyond China. European stocks dropped most since 2016, with Italy’s MIB index dropping 5.43%, while the declines were more contained in Asia. Elsewhere, implied volatility increased further (VIX 23+6 points).

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Implications from the reduction in Equity Weights

ZURICH | The Corner | UBS team reduced on Thursday their Overweight in Global Equities. In the near- term, they see some deterioration in the risk/return trade off, following a large re-rating in equity markets. However, the context is that they are coming from their largest ever Overweight in Equities and that it still remains their favoured asset class (with European Equities as an Overweight).