Earnings momentum is now positive for all major equity regions and we expect this to continue, supported by a solid economic backdrop. A normalising global economy should allow central banks to unwind their ultra-accommodative interest rate policies. We believe that long bond yields are set to rise further during 2017 and 2018.
Improving economic growth around the world will generally support equities and challenge bonds. That’s because this growth is more ‘traditional’ in nature, arising from better employment and demand, and thus allowing prices (and potentially profits) to rise.
From an economic perspective, the global economy appears to be in good heart. The environment for equities remains broadly neutral, as central banks unwind their stimulatory policies in response to improving growth prospects rather than the need to stamp out any problematic rising inflation. However, even though interest rates are starting to rise, bonds are not yet particularly attractive.
A balanced and diversified approach to investment remains appropriate: as well, clients should remain close to their benchmark targets for risk control.