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Alternative Market Briefing

Global investors moving toward a 'risk-off’ stance amid geopolitical instability

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

A BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey of 241 fund managers from 50 countries with $636bn of assets under management found that global investors are moving toward a "risk-off" stance.

"With neither inflation nor recession posing a threat, we believe the equity bull market is far from over and investors should be putting excess cash into risk assets," said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.

"We see signs that recent exuberance in sentiment and positioning in Europe is waning. While Europe’s recovery remains in play, markets likely need to consolidate further before resuming their upward trend," said John Bilton, European investment strategist.

A majority 81% of those polled said the growing tension in Ukraine poses a threat in financial markets stability – more than four times the reading one month ago. Twenty-seven percent of investors say that a geopolitical crisis is the biggest tail risk – up from 12%in February. At the same time, investors continue to express concern about the prospects for emerging markets – with sentiment towards China’s economy falling further.

Investors have reacted by showing reduced optimism about the prospect for corporate profits globally and by reining in risk. They have increased cash al......................

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