This content is from: Innovation

Five Equity Calls for Q4

Across-the-globe autumnal allocation ideas

With tans fading, colds spreading faster than Trump’s tweets and the back-to-work blues of “La Rentrée” no longer quite so painful, it’s time to focus on what the next few months might bring. 

Growth remains resilient, but autumnal storms are possible. Trade tensions, US mid-terms, EU politics and geopolitical risks are all likely to limit general equity market upside at some stage. But the forecast still looks fairly positive for specific regions, most notably the US. Bond investors (we’ll come to them properly next week) may not find conditions as favourable this fall. For now though, here are five things you could consider doing with your equity allocation: 

1. Favour US equities
There’s still time left to exploit opportunities in the US. Late-cycle investing need not be fraught with danger, provided you invest selectively. US equities should continue to enjoy strong earnings-per-share (EPS) growth because of solid top-line revenues, high margins and strong share buybacks. Margin expansion may become more difficult given rising input prices and wages, but this should be offset by greater capital spending which should in turn boost productivity and help companies retain their pricing power. Some areas look set to do better than others.

We still prefer growth over value stocks, which leads to a preference for sectors like tech (where corporate profit growth is strong and margins much improved) and healthcare (given low leverage and high EPS growth). However, financials – a value play – do look attractive given rising interest rates, looser regulation and pick-up in corporate loan growth. We’re steering clear of interest-rate sensitive sectors like utilities. 

Read our spotlight

2. Prepare for uncertainty in Europe
European equities have recently returned to favour with investors, probably because valuations don’t look as demanding as they do over the pond. For all that, it’s hard to be too bullish. Despite economic expansion, easy funding and the weak euro, weaker global trade and manufacturing will weigh on profit growth in the coming months. Political uncertainty in Italy will linger, while Brexit continues to befuddle. In our view, eurozone equities will continue to lag the US, so we’re no more than neutral.

There are some bright spots however. France is less exposed to global trade risks than Germany and the “Macronomic” reform agenda should lead to long-term productivity gains. Among the sectors, it’s a similar story to that playing out in the US. We like tech (despite stretched valuations) and healthcare. It’s harder to like the region’s financials however given the low rate environment and policy uncertainty. We’re avoiding sectors where earnings growth prospects have dimmed, like communication services.

In the UK, equities offer attractive dividend yields and reasonable valuations, but we do not expect to see any more sterling weakness or a further rise in oil prices, both of which would boost EPS. In truth, there’s still too much uncertainty in the air. 

3. Avoid the weakest links in the emerging markets
The travails in Turkey and the angst in Argentina have led to some understandable wariness of the emerging markets (EM) – and growing trade concerns, higher oil prices and US rate hikes are among the ingredients likely to bring more volatility in the coming months. However, there are two sides to this story. Fundamentals remain supportive and corporate profit growth has strengthened. Valuations are improving, albeit unevenly across markets and sectors.

Opportunity seekers could look to Asia, where China’s fiscal easing should help limit the impact of trade tensions. Asia also stands to benefit as the US and China move part of their supply chains to the region to avoid tariffs.

China itself looks to be the value trade, with domestic-focused areas looking increasingly attractive. Indian companies meanwhile have enjoyed a long-awaited consumer-led profit recovery and better earnings could keep supporting the market even with the rupee falling and political challenges on the horizon. Debt default concerns among financials add some temporary risks to the downside. The ASEAN bloc, often used as a portfolio insulator against some of the effects of a rising dollar and Fed hikes, is however troubled by idiosyncratic issues which reduce its appeal.

Prospects in Latin America look less positive while, in EMEA, only Russia stands out as a possible destination – despite US sanctions.

4. Bide your time on Japan
Prime Minister Abe’s re-election as head of the LDP in September has helped investor sentiment improve. Over the next few months, Japanese equities will be supported by a number of factors including low rates, yen weakness and attractive valuations. Some indices play better to these themes than others. In our view, the long-term strategic case for investing in Japan remains intact but global trade issues could be a headwind for this cyclical market in the short term.

5. Chase cash-rich companies
Low leveraged cash-rich companies (mostly in healthcare and IT) are set to outperform as interest rates continue to rise. They will also enjoy, and be able to exercise, greater pricing power leading to more sustainable earnings growth.

Source: Lyxor’s Cross Asset Research and Equity Strategy teams. All views & opinion as at 4 October 2018 unless otherwise stated. Past performance is no guide to future returns.

Risk Warning

This document is for the exclusive use of investors acting on their own account and categorised either as “eligible counterparties” or “professional clients” within the meaning of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU. These products comply with the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC). Société Générale and Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM) recommend that investors read carefully the “investment risks” section of the product’s documentation (prospectus and KIID). The prospectus and KIID are available free of charge on, and upon request to The products mentioned are the object of market-making contracts, the purpose of which is to ensure the liquidity of the products on the London Stock Exchange, assuming normal market conditions and normally functioning computer systems. Units of a specific UCITS ETF managed by an asset manager and purchased on the secondary market cannot usually be sold directly back to the asset manager itself. Investors must buy and sell units on a secondary market with the assistance of an intermediary (e.g. a stockbroker) and may incur fees for doing so. In addition, investors may pay more than the current net asset value when buying units and may receive less than the current net asset value when selling them. Updated composition of the product’s investment portfolio is available on In addition, the indicative net asset value is published on the Reuters and Bloomberg pages of the product, and might also be mentioned on the websites of the stock exchanges where the product is listed. Prior to investing in the product, investors should seek independent financial, tax, accounting and legal advice. It is each investor’s responsibility to ascertain that it is authorised to subscribe, or invest into this product. This document is of a commercial nature and not of a regulatory nature. This material is of a commercial nature and not a regulatory nature. This document does not constitute an offer, or an invitation to make an offer, from Société Générale, Lyxor Asset Management (together with its affiliates, Lyxor AM) or any of their respective subsidiaries to purchase or sell the product referred to herein. Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM), société par actions simplifiée having its registered office at Tours Société Générale, 17 cours Valmy, 92800 Puteaux (France), 418 862 215 RCS Nanterre, is authorized and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) under the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EU) and the AIFM Directive (2011/31/EU). LIAM is represented in the UK by Lyxor Asset Management UK LLP, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under Registration Number 435658. Société Générale is a French credit institution (bank) authorised by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (the French Prudential Control Authority).

Research disclaimer

Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) or its employees may have or maintain business relationships with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that LIAM and its employees may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. Please see appendix at the end of this report for the analyst(s) certification(s), important disclosures and disclaimers. Alternatively, visit our global research disclosure website

Conflicts of interest

This research contains the views, opinions and recommendations of Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists. To the extent that this research contains trade ideas based on macro views of economic market conditions or relative value, it may differ from the fundamental Cross Asset and ETF Research opinions and recommendations contained in Cross Asset and ETF Research sector or company research reports and from the views and opinions of other departments of LIAM and its affiliates. Lyxor Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists routinely consult with LIAM sales and portfolio management personnel regarding market information including, but not limited to, pricing, spread levels and trading activity of ETFs tracking equity, fixed income and commodity indices. Trading desks may trade, or have traded, as principal on the basis of the research analyst(s) views and reports. Lyxor has mandatory research policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to (i) ensure that purported facts in research reports are based on reliable information and (ii) to prevent improper selective or tiered dissemination of research reports. In addition, research analysts receive compensation based, in part, on the quality and accuracy of their analysis, client feedback, competitive factors and LIAM’s total revenues including revenues from management fees and investment advisory fees and distribution fees.

Copyright 2018 Lyxor - Groupe Société Générale

Related Content