In closing a year of remarkable geopolitical events, there are still many unknowns that will only be revealed when the dust settles from the major elections and referendums across the globe. Natixis Global Asset Management and one of its leading affiliates focused on alternatives, AlphaSimplex Group, LLC. talk about volatility Ahead.
Downside risk is currently elevated at above average, appoints the firm, although not at extreme levels for international and emerging market stocks. For U.S. stocks, the measure is slightly below average. This may seem counter-intuitive given the modest gains delivered by stocks thus far in 2016 and the relatively positive market reaction to the U.S. presidential election results. But perhaps it isn’t all that surprising.
Recall the rollercoaster stock market of the first quarter of 2016, when investors became concerned about the slowdown in Chinese economic growth. Almost a year later, points out Natixis affliates, the health of the Chinese economy continues to be a global risk. Add to that the wildcard of the direction of U.S. and Chinese trade relations post-election. Other concerns weighing on global markets include rising interest rates in the U.S., a weak European recovery weighed down by immigration complexities and a refugee crisis. Mid-year, Brexit also added a pint of uncertainty to the world order.
“Against this backdrop, it appears the only certainty is persistent uncertainty. This uncertainty has contributed to a relatively wild ride in the U.S. stock markets over the year, where we have seen a trough to peak move in the S&P 500 Index of over 20%.2 While we do not view global equity risk at extreme levels, we do believe investors should proceed with caution”, conclude AlphaSimplex Group´s team.