In June, appetite for US equities had dropped to a record low, which made us wonder whether this lack of enthusiasm would just be a temporary phenomenon. We know the answer: a very clear yes. Since EIE started to measure asset allocation intentions with fund selectors in Sweden in 2010, they even have never been as bullish about US equities as they are now.
While fund selectors in almost the entire rest of Europe are neutral or bearish on the asset class, the majority of Swedish fund buyers say they will continue to increase allocation. In September, sentiment was already back on the bullish side with 40% buyers and no sellers.
This has shown in fund sales patterns. In November, the Swedish branch organisation for asset managers Fondbolagen registered net inflows of more than SEK 2bn into the asset class. This was more than the net inflows into all other equity combined.
Eyes on the ECB
Sentiment towards European equities has cooled down slightly compared to September, though more than a third of Sweden’s fund selectors still plan to increase allocation. The majority have adopted a wait-and-see-approach for now though. The number of buyers is below the Pan-European average, but so is the share of sellers. So they might use the Christmas holidays to embark on some Mario Draghi mind-reading to make up their mind. From August until October Sweden’s fund buyers reduced their European equity holdings heavily, shedding more than SEK 4bn in total, but in November net inflows turned positive again.
Emerging market equity sentiment is neutral, which is also not in line with the remaining Pan-European enthusiasm for the asset class. Also here, ‘hold’ constitutes a great deal of the equation. This ambivalence contrasts with the two thirds of delegates attending Expert Investor Sweden in Stockholm in September who planned to buy more emerging market stocks.