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Citi upgrades US stocks as risk outlook remains bullish

Published 12/06/2024, 11:20
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Citi strategists have upgraded US equities to an Overweight position as current financial and market conditions are expected “to keep risk outlook bullish.”

To be more specific, the current macro environment is characterized by loose financial conditions and low cross-asset volatility, which support investor risk appetites, Citi noted. While economic growth has been disappointing, it is not worrisome, and inflation appears to have stagnated above target.

Moreover, the Wall Street giant highlighted that equities continue trading toward a soft landing scenario.

“With the direction of the Fed’s future rate direction looming large, and important upcoming growth, inflation, and labor market readings, any strong deviation could leave the market exposed, in our view,” strategists wrote.

As such, strategists have introduced several position changes. They have slightly reduced their equity overweight, now favoring the US market. In the rates sector, they maintain an overweight position in the core EU and have moved to a long position in US fixed-income.

Citi said its economists expect inflation to remain elevated and anticipate a recession in the US this year. Assets that would be most at risk of "catching up" to these conditions are fixed-income assets (positively affected) and credit, as well as base and precious metals.

“Given the uncertainty, scenario analysis is the best way to deal with such a range of outcomes,” Citi wrote. “We run several and the results are somewhat as expected – bonds do well in recessions, equities in a soft landing.”

Among other position changes, Citi has increased its credit underweight to allocate more to base metals and, to a lesser extent, energy overweights, while its cash position remains flat.

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