US underperforming in 2020 across market: Morgan Stanley

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America equities and corporate bonds will underperform peers next year, while the dollar weakens as growth outside the US picks up predicted Morgan Stanley.

“We see the biggest potential upside in markets with a clearer path to achievable earnings growth or scope for some multiple re-rating on falling political risks,” strategists including Andrew Sheets, Michael Wilson and Mathew Hornbach wrote in a yearly outlook dated Nov 17, with regards to stocks.

The Wall Street bank sees a modest decline in the S&P 500 Index by the end of the year, to 3000 from 3120 at last week’s close. American shares have been global leaders this year, though closely followed by European ones at both markets benefitted from central banks starting another monetary easing cycle.

Morgan Stanley miscalculated that cycle a year ago, when the bank’s strategists were “neutral” on equities relative to a benchmark allocation. The MSCI AC World Index is currently sitting on a 22% total return for 2019 so far.

Challenges for the US next year range from the risk that corporate earnings have peaked, high relative valuations on shares and “unique” political risk in the run-up to the presidential election.

The bank still saw potential for a rebound in the dollar against currencies tied to growth cycle in the second half of 2020, as the presidential election may make the risk environment “more challenging”. Havens like the yen and Swiss franc could also do well, the bank said.

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