BlackRock verwacht herstel economische activiteit met beperkte blijvende schade

BlackRock verwacht herstel economische activiteit met beperkte blijvende schade

Obligaties Aandelen Coronacrisis
Grafiek aandelen.jpg

Door de verkoopgolf van aandelen en de vlucht naar obligaties die de coronacrisis heeft veroorzaakt, zijn binnen portefeuilles van veel beleggers de verdelingen van aandelen tegenover obligaties de afgelopen weken waarschijnlijk sterk gaan afwijken van de benchmarks. In het wekelijkse marktcommentaar stellen de experts van het BlackRock Investment Institute dat die verhoudingen weer in balans moeten worden gebracht, maar dat de beste timing daarvan voor elke belegger anders kan zijn.

‘Terwijl we wachten op tekenen dat de piek van coronabesmettingen voorbij is, en overheden intussen met maatregelen komen die de economie en de markten stabiliseren, zou het verstandig kunnen zijn om alvast tegen de marktbewegingen in te leunen om de portefeuille te herbalanceren’, denkt het BlackRock Investment Institute.

De experts verwachten dat de economische activiteit vrijwel tot stilstand komt, wat in het tweede kwartaal tot scherpe krimp leidt, waarna de activiteit met beperkte permanente schade weer terugkeert. Dat vergt weliswaar enorme maatregelen van overheden, maar die beginnen ook daadwerkelijk plaats te vinden. "We denken dat de marktvolatiliteit de aandacht afleidt van de omvang van de stimulerende maatregelen - en er is meer op komst.’

Chart of the week

One-month drift from equity benchmark in a 60/40 portfolio, 2006-2020


Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Sources: BlackRock Investment Institute, with data from Refinitiv Datastream , March 2020. Notes: The chart shows the rolling one-month move away from the benchmark weight of equities in a hypothetical 60/40 portfolio of 60% equities and 40% bonds. We use the MSCI World Index and Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index to represent the two asset classes.

Many investors rebalance portfolios back toward strategic benchmarks on a calendar basis. Yet extreme market moves have likely caused their portfolios to drift dramatically from benchmarks. We illustrate with a hypothetical portfolio of 60% developed market equities and 40% global bonds. Over the past month, the weight of equities in the portfolio would have rapidly shrunk to just over 50% due to a sharp equity selloff. This one-month drift has been sharper than that seen during the 2008 crisis. See the chart above. We still see benchmark weights as appropriate. This implies a need to rebalance portfolios – effectively buying equities and selling bonds. To be sure, we believe it is too soon to overweight equities. As we await signs coronavirus infections are peaking and decisive policy actions are stabilizing the economy and markets, it may be prudent to start leaning against market moves through rebalancing. The right time to do so will vary by investor, and should take into account considerations such as transaction costs and market liquidity.

The coronavirus outbreak represents a major external shock to the macro outlook, akin to a large-scale natural disaster. Public health measures deployed to stop the virus’ spread are set to bring economic activity to a near standstill and cause a sharp contraction in economic growth in the second quarter. But we expect activity to ultimately return with limited permanent damage as long as authorities deliver an overwhelming fiscal and monetary policy response to bridge businesses and households through the shock.

The required policy response includes drastic public health measures to stem the outbreak – and a decisive, pre-emptive and coordinated policy response to stabilize economic conditions and financial markets. All this is starting to take shape. Central banks have cut rates and adopted measures to ensure markets keep functioning. The key here is to alleviate any dysfunction of market pricing and tightening of financial conditions. What is needed are overwhelming and coordinated policies – both on monetary and fiscal fronts – that forestall any cashflow crunches, especially among small businesses and households, that could lead to financial stresses and tip the economy into a crisis, as we detail in Time for policy to go direct. The UK, Canada and Australia have served as models of policy coordination, as we have advocated in Dealing with the next downturn. We expect a third, significantly larger, fiscal package to emerge soon in the US – likely reaching $1 trillion, or 5% of GDP – although there may be twists and turns as it makes its way through Congress.

We maintain benchmark weight in equities, credit, government bonds and cash, but have updated our granular asset allocation views for the next six- to 12-months. We emphasize geographies with the most policy space – such as the US and China in both equities and credit, and favor quality exposures. We upgrade US equities because of their quality bias and expected support from fiscal stimulus. We downgrade Japanese equities because of the limited monetary and fiscal policy space to offset the outbreak’s impact. In fixed income, we reduce Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to neutral after a huge decline in rates, though we still see value in the long term. We upgrade euro area peripheral government bonds to neutral after the recent spread widening and an expectation that measures by the European Central Bank will keep yields low in southern-tier countries. For long-term investors, significant value has been created in risk assets.