SoutheastAsiaTraders Research Institute’s 2014 Investment Outlook

September 25 18:10 2014
Valuations are becoming stretched across markets, setting up the markets for more volatility — especially as US quantitative easing ends and focus shifts to prospective US interest rate rises, according to the Southeast Asia Traders Research Institute’s 2014 Investment Outlook.

Over the past six months, the biggest change globally, was that a brewing crisis in emerging markets stabilized. Many economies have adjusted and started closing current account deficits, setting the stage for an economic and market rebound.

“In the emerging markets, selection is key, as countries develop at very different speeds,” said Mr. Robin Jinxia, Research Director at Southeast Asia Traders. “We favor countries with strong balance sheets that are implementing reforms to make their economies more competitive.

The US economy has been “cruising below its speed limit for years,” yet it could be on the verge of a cyclical pickup, driven by pent-up demand for housing, the fading of the fiscal drag from spending cuts and tax hikes, and a near-term increase in capital spending.

Across Europe, the bar is low for growth to surprise on the upside. The European Central Bank (ECB)’s resolve to prevent the Eurozone from falling into a deflationary spiral is likely good news for European risk assets.

Despite recent underperformance in Japanese equities, is maintaining a bullish stance, supported by “Godzilla-like” QE by the Bank of Japan, cheap valuations and structural reforms to boost economic growth, and a rise in domestic investor interest.

For China, GDP growth expectations have come down, but could probably edge even lower, with the country’s investment fueled growth not sustainable. “A lot depends on China’s export machine, which makes up a quarter of GDP”.

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