BlackRock has advised clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets at any sign of serious trouble
BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has warned that central banks are poised to tighten monetary policy in the Anglo-Saxon countries and China, advising clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets at any sign of serious trouble.
“2014 is the year to squeeze more juice out of risk assets. But investors should be ready to discard the fruit when it starts running dry,” said Ewen Cameron Watt, chief strategist for the BlackRock Investment Institute.
The group said in its 2014 Investment Outlook that investors have “jumped on the momentum train, effectively betting yesterday’s strategy will win again tomorrow”, but vanishing liquidity could leave them trapped if the mood changes. “Beware of traffic jams: easy to get into, hard to get out of,” it said.
BlackRock, which manages funds worth $4.1 trillion, said the global system is still in the doldrums and far from achieving sustainable recovery. “The eurozone, Japan and emerging markets are all trying to export their way out of trouble. Who is going to buy all this stuff? The maths does not work. Not everybody’s currency can fall at once,” it said.
BlackRock said there is a 20pc risk that world events could go badly wrong, either because the eurozone acts too late to head off deflation or because of a chain reaction as the US Federal Reserve starts to wind down stimulus in earnest.
“The banking system in the eurozone periphery is under water, with a non-performing loan pile of €1.5 trillion to €2 trillion. Germany and other core countries are unlikely to pick up the tab. Eastern Europe could become the epicentre of funding risk in 2014 due to big refinancings,” it said. BlackRock said the eurozone is “stuck in a monetary corset”, failing to generate the nominal GDP growth of 3pc to 5pc needed for economies to outgrow their debt burdens.
The risk in the US is that Fed tapering could cause the housing recovery to stall. The Fed has purchased three times all net issuance of US mortgages so far in 2013.
BlackRock said the profit share of GDP has soared to a modern-era high of 12pc of GDP, while the workers’ share has collapsed from 66pc to 57pc in one decade. “This speaks to troubling trends of growing inequality and weak wage growth, and brings into question the sustainability of profit margins.”
Full article: World’s biggest investor BlackRock says US rally nearing exhaustion (The Telegraph)