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Alternative Market Briefing

Stock markets are celebrating victory too early

Friday, December 06, 2013

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

According to SEB, a Nordic financial services group, stock markets are celebrating victory too early.

"World economic growth is poised to accelerate, but this will happen slowly and right now market hopes are ahead of the evidence in many cases," says the group’s recent investment outlook report.

"The stock market is often said to be an economic indicator that is 6-8 months ahead of the real economy. If, for a moment, we allow the real economy to be represented by company earnings forecasts, it appears the latter are largely standing still while share prices rise. For sceptics, this is a bit too exciting; the market has ended up in a limbo, where hopes are expressed in share price movements and real economic developments in terms of earnings. For good reasons, this gap can make many people nervous," says Ann Grevelius, Global Head of Investment Strategy at SEB.

As for emerging markets, SEB notes on a breaking down of the BRIC concept, with only the "C" getting ahead. Hans Peterson, Global Head of Asset Allocation at SEB comments that emerging markets are in a more mature phase, and that we should not expect the same rapid expansion that was seen in the late 90s.

"We can no longer speak of EM countries as one unit. Instead, each country and its currency and stock market must be ev......................

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