Antipodes highlights favoured markets, sectors

-- | 07/06/2019

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Glenn Freeman: We're here on the sidelines of the Morningstar Investment Conference. Now, Jacob, you were just speaking then in a session about global equities and the changing paradigms within that space. What are some of the countries that are most appealing to you right now within global equities?

 Jacob Mitchell: Yeah, look, it's a good question. I mean, you've had tailwinds in the US, the biggest equity market in the world, namely being fiscal stimulus. We see that starting to fade. And the question is, how does the Fed react. We think the Fed will start to become much more dovish. We think in some ways the Fed is still behind the curve.

And I think that will favor EM equities over developed world equities generally. But also, maybe Europe as an economy has tended to be quite sensitive to EM growth, especially China – with exports to China. So, I think, Europe with or without fiscal stimulus is probably cheap enough for you to have some exposure to the more domestic part of the European economy.

Now, if the European Union gets its act together and European parliament with more greens and more populists actually finds a way to fiscally stimulate, then it could be a much stronger rebound. But certainly, not priced into EM or European-exposed equities.

Freeman: Sure. And talking at a sector level, one area that was discussed a fair bit today during the session was consumer staples. Now, how have your exposures to that sector sort of changed in recent times? Or have they?

Mitchell: Yeah, look, consumer staples, I think, everyone has got them on their mind because they've been such strong performers in the recent past.

Look, we've tended to have our consumer staples exposure via EM-related equities, companies like Yum China or sort of beverage companies in China.

Now, the question is, you can also get that exposure via Unilever that has exposure to – a high exposure to EM. The question is, I think on the consumer staples is, be selective.

Some of the more undifferentiated brands are starting to struggle. And consumers are becoming very price-sensitive and the ability of boutique brands or niche brands to actually position themselves through advertising on Facebook and through simple supply chains is real. So, some of the mass market brands are under pressure.

So, you need to be very selective and invest with the companies that know how to segment the market and use the performance-based advertising tools that Google and Facebook basically give them.

This report appeared on 2022 Morningstar Australasia Pty Limited

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