Posts tagged Citigroup
Is global liquidity now hostile for equities?

Last week I said that investors have plenty to worry about, but also that many of the traditional reasons to abandon ship—chiefly extended valuations and political paralysis and risk—perhaps weren't as valid as many think they are. The most convincing argument for not panicking despite extended valuations is that ample global liquidity and low interest rates remain as support for equities and credit markets. I imagine that his idea has been put down on page one of most investors' playbook since the financial crisis. The argument is pretty simple. As long as central banks are on the bid, their purchases of bonds—and other assets—will drive private investors into riskier markets. Known as the portfolio balancing effect, this is recognised to operate via both the stock and flow of central banks' balance sheets. Finally, front-end interest rates that are locked at the zero bound—or slow to rise even as the economy recovers—also translates into higher equity prices and tighter spreads. Low rates mean an increase in the future discounted value of cash flows and also encourages investors to pay a higher multiple for the same level of earnings. It also forces investors to seek out yield in private debt markets to reach their return targets, despite the higher risk profile of corporate bonds.

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