Tells investors that 2012 marks continuation of the multi-year transition to a new conservative financial era
LONDON and NEW YORK, December 14, 2011 — Equities and commodities are two asset classes likely to do better over the full course of 2012 than they did in 2011, according to Jack Malvey, chief global market strategist for BNY Mellon Asset Management. Malvey, who made the comments during his outlook conference call with clients and consultants, said he expects the strongest outperformance from the two asset classes to occur in the second half of the year as investors begin factoring in the resumption of economic growth in 2013 and 2014.
Malvey stressed that market behavior in 2012 should be viewed in the context of the continuing "great transition to a new conservative financial era." This transition marks a reversal of the increased leverage by governments and individuals in developed markets that began in approximately 1970, rose to unsustainable levels, and ended with the great recession that began in 2007, he said.
However, he noted that a number of events could create opportunities despite the current issues surrounding the eurozone, the U.S. budget and elections, and generally more conservative expectations for world economic growth. "In less than a year, I expect the medium term economic fate of Europe will be defined and the U.S. election outcome will be known," he added.
According to Malvey, equities could rise in the 10 to 15 percent range in 2012 as the probability of stronger economic growth becomes more apparent during 2012 and corporate earnings growth remains positive, although not advancing as quickly as in 2011. Other factors that could propel equity prices in 2012 would be merger and acquisition escalation, equity buybacks, dividend increases, and asset allocation shifts from bonds to equities.
"Investors are focusing more on what can go wrong instead of the potential upside," Malvey said. "The last few years have been rough on equities. Folks are doing a lot of rear-view mirror gazing, looking to make same trades as in 2011, which may not be a good idea."
Malvey noted the interest rates on bonds have been driven so low that dividend yields are now more attractive. "The fixed income asset class is not likely to be as generous to investors as in most years since 2000," he noted. "The Global Aggregate bond index is likely to return someplace between a negative three percent and a positive three percent due to a combination of flat-to-slightly higher medium- and long-term government bond yields, bulging government bond supply, and concerns that monetary policy will become normalized."
Commodities could gain 10 percent in 2012 on expectations of economic growth normalization in 2013 and beyond, and investors continue to turn to commodities as a hedge against possible currency weakness, inflation or deflation, and general uncertainty in the traditional financial markets, he said. Malvey excluded gold from the overall commodities group, saying this precious metal already has enjoyed major appreciation over the past several years. Instead, he said the commodities likely to outperform are more closely tied to the economic cycles, such as industrial metals like copper.
U.S. politics and the European sovereign debt crisis will continue to shape the course of markets through much of 2012, he said. However, I anticipate that these uncertainties will abate as the U.S. election in late 2012 is likely to determine future budget policies on dealing with the deficit, and Europe should be well along in resolving its sovereign and banking sector problems, Malvey concluded.
BNY Mellon Asset Management is one of the world's leading asset management organizations, encompassing BNY Mellon's affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies. Information about BNY Mellon Asset Management can be found at www.bnymellonam.com.
BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.9 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.2 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.6 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.
All information source BNY Mellon Asset Management at September 30, 2011. This press release is qualified for issuance in the UK and US and is for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or solicitation of securities or investment services or an endorsement thereof in any jurisdiction or in any circumstance in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorised. This press release is issued by BNY Mellon Asset Management (US) and BNY Mellon Asset Management International Limited (ex-US) to members of the financial press and media and the information contained herein should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Registered office of BNY Mellon Asset Management International Limited: BNY Mellon Centre, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4LA. Registered in England no. 1118580. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. A BNY Mellon Company(SM)