Erste Asset Management

Upward trend at the beginning of the week – Update from the Investment Division

Upward trend at the beginning of the week – Update from the Investment Division
Upward trend at the beginning of the week – Update from the Investment Division
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What has occurred over the weekend ?

The markets for risky assets closed on Friday in markedly positive territory. The US-American equity index S&P 500 gained 2,7%. It was a similar picture in Europe. The EuroStoxx 50 gained 2,7%. Since the beginning of the year the S&P 500 lost only ca. 11%.

The development of the technology sector was especially positive. The US stock exchange NASDAQ showed on Friday a loss of only 3,6% since the beginning of the year. Two heavy weights in the NASDAQ index since the beginning of the year were strongly in positive territory: Microsoft + 13% and Amazon + 29%.

The yields of investment grade government bonds remained almost unchanged on Friday. 10Y US-Treasuries traded with a yield of 0,63% and the German counterpart with -0,48%. Gold decreased by 2% on Friday.

Despite the agreed production cuts crude oil of the standard brand WTI saw further set-backs. Monday morning the price for a barrel is only USD 15,0 and therefore at the lowest level since 1999. The reason for that is the concern of oil traders that storage capacity will be full soon.

On the weekend there were several positive signs in regards to the spreading of Covid-19. New York, one of the most affected areas in the USA, announced a decrease in hospitalizations and also death rates. Also in Europe there were positive developments in Spain, France and the United Kingdom, showing a decrease in death rates.

According to the Financial Times also on the monetary and fiscal policy front there were positive developments. The European Central Bank is negotiating with the European Commission about the creation of a “Bad Bank”, which should buy several billions of problem loans from the banks..

What will we pay attention to over the next days and weeks?

The markets for risky assets price in a fast recovery of the economy. There are the following reasons:

  • The containment measures to fight the Covid-19 virus seem to work currently. As described above the cases in several hot spots develop in a positive way. Therefore some countries (e.g. Denmark, Germany, Austria and some states in the USA) set loosening measures. That would lead to a re-start of the economy.
  • Globally far-reaching monetary and fiscal policy programs were announced. The volumes of these measures is considerably larger than in the last crisis 2008-2009. Also these packages were announced and implemented much faster.
  • In the last week there were positive news in regards to the development of pharmaceuticals to reduce the symptoms of a Covid-19 infection. However, it has to be stated that only a part of the study was published publicly and the sample of the participants was small.

Despite these positive developments, there are also risk factors:

  • As long as there is no vaccination against the virus, a further wave of infections can occur despite successful containment. For example, a city in China on the border with Russia was quarantined on the weekend, after which an accumulation of cases occurred there.
  • The economic recovery would be weaker or take longer than currently anticipated. If certain restrictions cannot be lifted, or are only partially lifted, this would slow down the recovery.
  • Secondary effects are also likely. These could, for example, be bankruptcies of companies. But there is also a high degree of uncertainty regarding corporate earnings and their respective development in 2020. Many companies are currently refraining from making profit forecasts.

We assume that these factors will continue to cause volatility in the markets. In the short term, poor economic and corporate data will lead to further setbacks. In the long term, however, risk factors appear attractive. This is due to more attractive valuations (in the long term) and also the stimulus measures taken by the central banks and governments.


Legal note:
Prognoses are no reliable indicator for future performance.



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