“It’s time for a little more caution in portfolios”
A step backward in AstraZeneca’s pursuit of a vaccine and a new focus on uncertainty for investors.
Alberto Matellán, Chief Economist at MAPFRE Inversión, explains in an interview with A Media Sesión at Radio Intereconomía that this hold on trials “is very much illustrative of market sentiments.” “Reality is starting to sink in now. We were euphoric in June or July because we were seeing better data, but outlooks changed over the summer and they aren’t as good as they were then. And the introduction of the vaccine tells us the same thing. Everything is not as good as it seemed, because it couldn’t be, it wasn’t reasonable,” Matellán adds.
In addition to this focus on uncertainty, technology companies in the United States recorded steep declines. In fact, Nasdaq fell by more than 10 percent in just three sessions. However, the Chief Economist at MAPFRE Inversión believes that this is a healthy correction: “Before, technology stock went up and up, but other indices or sectors didn’t. Now it’s the opposite. I think it’s healthy because the market is moving more rationally. It shouldn’t be a concern.”
In light of this situation, the ECB will continue to use language as its only tool. Matellán recalls how the ECB’s Chief Economist, Philip Lane, voiced his concern for the euro’s performance. This is because it can put downward pressure on inflation, which could reawaken old deflationary ghosts, but also because of the effect it can have on exports. However, according to the MAPFRE expert, “the current level is not sufficient to elicit an aggressive reaction, nor is the potential impairment of economic outlooks.”
In addition to these factors, concern surrounding Brexit has resurfaced, thanks to Boris Johnson reopening the wound. But Matellán does not believe that investors should worry “until we have new information.”
That is why he recommends that investors, especially individuals, be a bit more cautious with their portfolios, as there is more uncertainty and some of the risky assets have risen very sharply in recent weeks. “We should increase the weight of more defensive assets,” he indicates, although he does remind us that as this is a change caused by market sentiment and not by a change in our personal situation, “we should consult a financial advisor.”