Stock market paradox
Positive economic data is currently exerting negative pressure on the stock and bond markets. This seemingly logical contradiction makes sense on closer inspection, however, and is a well-known stock market paradox. Moderate wage growth in the USA and a strong labour market speaks for a robust economy on the one hand, but on the other hand prices remain high or even become more expensive. The central banks are therefore unlikely to find any reason to end their interest rate hikes quickly.
Under these conditions, the S&P 500 fell by -2.61% in February, the technology exchange Nasdaq by -0.49% and the Chinese CSI 300 by -2.10%. The Japanese Nikkei reported a positive performance with +0.43% and the STOXX Europe 600 with +1.74% (all indices in local currency).
YTD returns in % (stock and bond markets)
|EURO STOXX 50||1.18||11.72|
|€ Gvt. Bond 7-10 yr||-2.44||0.61|
|$ Treasury Bond 7-10yr (USD)||-3.21||0.18|
|iBoxx EUR Corp Bond||-1.28||1.39|
|US Corp 5-7yr (USD)||-2.64||0.47|
|Source: Morningstar, Bloomberg, 02/28/2023 / * ETFs|
With an overall mixed performance of the stock portfolio, cyclical stocks such as Alibaba and Shopify in particular suffered losses. Companies with positive management forecasts such as Meta or Kinsale were particularly convincing. Positions in Deutsche Post, Trade Desk, Twilio, BMW and AirBnB were increased. A new position was held in O'Reilly Automotive, one of the largest auto parts distributors in the United States. The bond portfolio recorded slight losses in February, but short-dated US government bonds and some high-yield bonds such as Avis or Grupo Antolin were able to stand out positively.
The fund allocation is currently 56.1% equities, 39.6% bonds (including 4% short-dated US Treasuries and 2.6% CAT bonds), 1.8% gold/commodities/CO2 emission rights and 2.5% cash.
Concerns about inflation and economic growth are not over yet and imply a continued prudent portfolio positioning.
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