Looking back at a volatile 2019
1. As was the case in 2018, investors digested a plethora of headlines related to trade-related uncertainty; mainly regarding U.S.-China brinkmanship..
2. Throughout the year, a large fraction of market gains were a recovery from the substantial losses incurred at the end of 2018..
What do NBI’s CIO Office think?
Nearly all asset classes generated substantial returns in 2019 but 2020 is likely to be more nuanced, as investors look to uncover value in an aging business cycle..
- Current levels of equity valuations and earnings growth suggest modest returns should be expected for major stock markets going forward
- U.S. equities should continue to perform well, benefiting from a strong local economy and favorable market trends
- . Investors should remain on the lookout for a shift towards the Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) region, where its higher cyclical sector allocation could help them regain leadership as global growth picks up pace.
- Bond market outlook is less favorable than stock market outlook as a recent de-escalation in trade tensions and an accumulation of economic green shoots (signs of economic recovery during downturns) bode well for risk assets.
- Central banks throughout the world turning more accommodative over the past few quarters should act as a tailwind for risk assets.
- After easing monetary conditions in 2019, major central banks should remain on the sidelines in 2020, having clearly signaled their willingness to let inflation run above their 2% target for a period of time.
- This backdrop should support a rebound in global growth and exert modest upward pressure on longer-term bond yields over the next few months.
- The evolution of interest rate differentials between the U.S. and Canada should support the loonie, but we do not expect any major upward movement unless global growth accelerates much faster than currently expected.