Outlook for equities ‘positive’, SMSFs told
While there are some risks pointing to a potential correction or pullback, there is no need for SMSF clients to worry and sell off their equities with the outlook still largely positive, says a chief economist.
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said that share markets around the world, including in Australia, have performed strongly so far in 2019, so much so that there is now a risk of a correction or pullback.
“Should that occur, it doesn’t mean investors should panic and sell their shares,” Mr Oliver advised.
In the past 12 months or so, Mr Oliver said investors have been on a rollercoaster ride.
“We started 2018 off optimistically, but around February markets wobbled on concerns about the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates,” he said.
“In the first quarter of 2019, we have seen a good rebound, with many of those concerns fading or disappearing.”
He explained that the shutdown in the US is now over, global economic data has slowed but not collapsed, and there are some positive signs for growth, and trade war fears have dissipated as the US and China have entered what so far appears to be productive talks.
“Markets have also been boosted by stimulus measures, particularly in China, and central banks, most notably the US Fed, have softened their policy stances,” Mr Oliver said.
“To put this bounce in context, the rally in the US from their lows on Christmas Eve to their recent highs was 23 per cent — a pretty good rebound.”
Volatility is a given, however, he said, and after those big rallies there is some risk of a bit of a pullback or consolidation.
“A possible trigger for a correction is concern about global growth. Economic data has been consistent with some further slowdown into the March quarter and concerns abound about the yield curve inversion in the US — which many investors fear is a warning sign of a forthcoming recession,” he said.
While there is risk of a correction, investors, he said, shouldn’t panic and sell their shares.
“Even though there are risks of a short-term pullback, I think, overall, this year will be a reasonably positive one for share markets,” he said.
Mr Oliver said there are several reasons for that including the fact that share market valuations are still okay and global growth is likely to pick up in the second half of the year.
“We’re seeing the impact of the Chinese stimulus come through in business surveys and that will certainly help Europe, which is very exposed to exports to China,” he said.
“The US Fed had softened its monetary policy stance and that will help the US economy, and the emerging world is looking a bit better as well.”
Mr Oliver said the combination of improving growth, okay valuations and still relatively easy monetary policy globally should see this year as a good one for shares, notwithstanding the risk of a short-term correction or pullback in markets, both globally and also in Australia.