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ASX record run may trigger sell-off

By Sarah Kendell
17 January 2020 — 1 minute read

The record highs hit by the Australian stock market in January may trigger some investors to sell in the belief that a correction is coming, but in reality, economic conditions remain positive for continuing sharemarket growth, according to Fidelity International.

The fund manager’s cross-asset specialist, Anthony Doyle, said with the ASX having recently broken 7,000 points, investors may become increasingly concerned about potential market declines.

“It will likely trigger some investors to review their portfolios, causing them to become more active when it comes to investing,” Mr Doyle said.

“In reality, there isn’t much difference between the ASX 200 at 6,995 and 7,005, but 7,000 could represent an emotional trigger point to some investors. At an individual portfolio level, it can result in investors selling high-performing equities while holding on to underperforming companies as they hope to recoup some losses.

“As a result, we often see a few lacklustre trading sessions in the days following attention-grabbing events.”

Mr Doyle said despite investor nerves, in the long term, conditions remained positive for further growth in the Australian equity market this year.

“We’re in the unusual position of having tailwinds from both monetary and fiscal policy,” he said.

“Having pretty much used up all monetary policy ammunition, governments are now being asked to step up with fiscal policy to help economies break free of this very low growth world. 

“This will likely come via significant infrastructure development, which should be good news as low interest rates combined with fiscal stimulus is normally a positive environment for equity returns.”

However, he added that the continued rise of populism in the global political environment posed ongoing geopolitical risks for markets.

“Populist policies like protectionism, anti-immigration and government intervention are all anti-growth in nature and are likely to continue to put downward pressure on the already sluggish 1 to 2 per cent economic growth range in most developed countries,” Mr Doyle said.


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