Pictet: Europa und Japan bleiben favorisierte Märkte

Luca Paolini, Chief Strategist bei Pictet Asset Management, erläutert, warum er europäische und japanische Aktien als gut bewertet einschätzt und sie übergewichtet.

08.04.2015 | 09:08 Uhr

“Our regional allocation remains unchanged, with overweight positions in European and Japanese equities. Even though European stocks have outpaced their US counterparts in recent months, there is scope for this trend to gain further momentum over the near term. 

The improving macroeconomic backdrop in the single currency region is a major plus. German retail sales adjusted for inflation rose 5 per cent on the year in January, the highest level in 20 years. The recent wage settlement for metal workers also points to a strong increase in purchasing power for consumers. Moreover, the fall in the value of the EUR is serving to boost the competitiveness of companies in Southern Europe, particularly exporters based in Spain and Italy, while lending to non-financial corporates has risen. 

The economic surprise index for the euro zone – which tracks the extent to which data releases surpass or undershoot expectations – is at its most positive level for two years. And this is before the effects of the ECB’s quantitative easing are taken into account. Healthier business conditions are beginning to filter through to corporate earnings: profit forecast revisions across Europe are improving at a rapid pace. The net proportion of companies raising profit estimates relative to those cutting them has improved to - -1.5 per cent from - -10 seen at the end of last year. 

The situation in Europe compares favourably with the conditions we see in the US, where the strong USD is beginning to crimp the earnings of exporters and stocks look expensive on a range of valuation metrics. At just below 28, the cyclically-adjusted price-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 index is at the high end of its historical range, with the exception of the tech bubble. Taking all this into account, we expect the discount at which European stocks trade to US equities to narrow further – it is currently at around 5 per cent on a 12-month forward price-earnings basis.”

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