Investors flee bonds and stocks
sending markets spiraling further as investors predicted a worsening of relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
The anxiety drove investors to pull $5.2 billion from equity funds and $8.1 billion from bond funds, according to EPFR data cited by BAML. “Markets starting to price in recession, but policymakers yet to price in recession,” argued the BAML strategists.
Equity outflows were made up of opposite flows in ETFs and mutual funds, with $5.3 billion driven into ETFs while $10.5 billion was taken out of mutual funds.
But investors were continuing to edge back into emerging market stocks, which saw their eighth week of inflows with $2.7 billion.
This helped to push BAML’s “Bull & Bear” indicator of market sentiment up from 2.4 to 2.7 — “not yet an extreme bearish reading,” BAML strategists said.
The starting point for a fall to lower equity allocations is high, they pointed out, with the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund at 67 percent equity allocations.
Hedge funds are still at a net 35 to 40 percent net long, and BAML’s fund manager survey shows cash levels under 5 percent.
The global consensus forecast is for 8.3 percent growth in earnings-pershare in 2019, which the strategists said was too high, predicting a “Big Low” in markets next year.