The great market detachment from reality
The disconnect between market hopes and economic and pandemic reality reinforces our conviction that now is a time to remain cautious: don’t chase the bulls, but gradually and selectively play investment themes better positioned towards a slow road to recovery. Reasons to be vigilant, on top of the uncertainties in the three cycles mentioned above, are: First, a resurgence of the US-China rivalry, amid the ‘blame for the virus’ game, was the main risk that re-escalated in May. Second, the outcome of US elections is uncertain. Third, EM are facing high idiosyncratic risks (Brazil). Finally, the long-term consequences (retreat in global trade, rebalancing of policies in favour of labour, transformation of business models, and acceleration of trends, i.e. smart working) of Covid-19 are complex and remain under scrutiny. During the unprecedented last 3 months, our focus has been: the dual objective of protecting investment capital from any permanent loss and having room to add to emerging investment opportunities.