We remain cautious on shares in the short term as event risk is high for the months ahead including ongoing debate around the Fed and ECB, issues around Eurozone banks, the US election on November 8 and the Italian Senate referendum & Austrian presidential election re-run (both on December 4). However, after any short term weakness, we anticipate shares to trend higher over the next 12 months helped by okay valuations, continuing easy global monetary conditions, moderate economic growth and the shift from falling to rising profits for both the US and Australian share markets.
Ultra-low bond yields point to a soft medium term return potential from them, but it’s hard to get too bearish on bonds in a world of fragile growth, spare capacity, low inflation and ongoing shocks.
Commercial property and infrastructure are likely to continue benefitting from the ongoing search for yield by investors.
Dwelling price gains are expected to slow, as the heat comes out of Sydney and Melbourne thanks to poor affordability, tougher lending standards and as apartment supply ramps up which is expected to drive 15-20% price falls for units in oversupplied areas around 2018.
Cash and bank deposits offer poor returns.
The outlook for the $A has become murky. A shift in the interest rate differential in favour of the US as the Fed remains on its path to hike rates should see the long term trend remain down and the $A normally overshoots on the downside after the bursting of commodity price booms and this remains our base case. But against this, the stabilisation and rising trend in some commodity prices and the continued gradual nature of Fed rate hikes suggest ongoing upside risks in the short term. The danger is that the latter will threaten the rebalancing of the economy and the best defence against this is for the RBA to revert to a clear easing bias even if it never acts on it.