Last updated: 10:37 / Tuesday, 18 August 2015
BofA Merrill Lynch Survey

From Greece to China: Global Investors Turn Their Back on Emerging Markets Over Recession Fears

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From Greece to China: Global Investors Turn Their Back on Emerging Markets Over Recession Fears
  • Record Low Sentiment Towards Emerging Markets and Energy Sector
  • Europe is the region the investors most want to overweight
  • The survey notes a rising consensus that the Fed will raise rates in third quarter
  • An anti-commodities stance is evident with moves out of Energy and Materials while defensive weightings increase

Global investors have shifted their attention from Greece to China amid continued concern of a Chinese recession, according to the BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for August. Respondents are scaling back their expectations for economic growth.

China recession is now rated the number one “tail risk” by 52 percent of panel. And fifty-three percent of investors say the global economy will strengthen in coming year, down from 61 percent in July. “Investors are sending a clear message that they are positioned for lower growth in China and emerging markets,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.

The survey reports the lowest allocations to emerging markets equities since April 2001 and to the Energy sector since February 2002. More investors say Global Emerging Markets is the region they most want to underweight; Europe is the region they most want to overweight.

“European stocks remain in favour – but investors like domestically focused names and are avoiding anything exposed to China or commodities,” said James Barty, head of European equity strategy.

The survey notes a rising consensus that the Fed will raise rates in third quarter; the majority of panel now expects the yield curve to flatten in next 12 months.

An anti-commodities stance is evident with moves out of Energy and Materials while defensive weightings increase.

An overall total of 202 panelists with US$574 billion of assets under management participated in the survey from 7 August to 13 August 2015. A total of 162 managers, managing US$449 billion, participated in the global survey. A total of 100 managers, managing US$224 billion, participated in the regional surveys. The survey was conducted by BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research with the help of market research company TNS.

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