Market reacts to QE taper signalling

Friday, June 21 2013

In a continuation of recent trends the US market was soft overnight with all asset classes weak – gold, bonds, equities and the A$. The reason ironically is that the US has signalled that their economy is strong enough to start considering ending their quantitative easing which has supported their economy through the GFC period. The market is expecting that the level of monthly bond purchases by the Federal Reserve will reduce from US$80b a month to say $65b by the end of the year.

So why is this important and why is the market selling off?

Over the past few years Hedge Funds and others have been able to make certain investments on expectation that the trends will continue. That is that QE will keep bonds yields low and that this will mean other yield orientated investments will also be attractive. These investors are now starting to unravel some of their positions which are causing an adjustment for the markets.

Implications

The implications for our market are as follows:

  1. It places downward pressure on our currency as A$ bonds and high yield stocks were one of those investments that have benefited from QE. In the short term as offshore investors sell out of the Australian positions it creates some negative volatility.
  2. Ultimately a pullback in the currency has positive implications for profits of the Australian market and will improve the competitive position of many companies. We estimate that at a 90 cent A$ there is a 9% positive impact to profits.
  3. From a valuation perspective the Australian market has pulled back 10% so when combined with the impact of a lower currency the Australian market is nearly 20% cheaper than it was two months ago.

In addition to the QE easing the Australian market is adjusting to life after the resource boom. Some of those sectors of the economy which have done well in the past few years are likely to struggle and the RBA will be looking for other segments such as housing and non-residential construction to breathe life into the economy. A lower currency and lower interest rates will help in this regard as will an election to remove current uncertainty.

From a positioning perspective we continue to like those companies exposed to offshore earnings such as Brambles, QBE and Ansell and those companies which can benefit as money flows out of bond markets (such as QBE and Macquarie Bank). We will also be looking at opportunities that emerge from the current volatility.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: This information has been prepared by DNR AFSL Pty Ltd ABN 39 118 946 400, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Licence Number 301658. Whilst, Dalton Nicol Reid has used its best endeavours to ensure the information within this document is accurate it cannot be relied upon in any way and recipients must make their own enquiries concerning the accuracy of the information within. This document is not intended to provide you with personal advice and in providing this information, Dalton Nicol Reid has not taken into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. You should assess whether this information is appropriate for your particular needs, either by yourself or with your adviser. Dalton Nicol Reid expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability to anyone who acts or relies upon anything contained in, or omitted from, this document. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Total returns shown are based on Dalton Nicol Reid’s model portfolio and have been calculated before taking Dalton Nicol Reid’s fees into account. No allowance has been made for taxation.
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