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(Bloomberg) -- Brazilian stocks have extended their year-to-date gain to about 20% on renewed optimism that Latin America’s largest economy will finally overhaul its heavily indebted social security system. But the rally that has pushed the market to record highs still may have some juice left.The benchmark Ibovespa index may climb 11% from current levels to about 115,000 by the end of 2019, according to the average forecast of 10 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg. Their targets range from 105,000 to 123,000, implying an increase of as much as 18%. That would mark the fourth year of double-digit gains for Brazilian stocks.Reforming pensions should allow Brazil’s central bank to reduce the benchmark interest rate below the current, historically low 6.5%, pushing more funds into the local stock market, strategists say. While the domestic swap rates curve is pricing in an easing cycle of 108 basis point until the end of the year, some of the nation’s fund managers and economists see room for the Selic rate to reach 5%.“A strong fiscal anchor will likely open room for deeper interest rate cuts,” Bradesco BBI analysts led by Andre Carvalho wrote in a July 10 report, raising their target for the Ibovespa to 122,000 from 116,000. “Low interest rates should help boost the capital markets and M&A activities, as well as reduce financial expenses and increase the attractiveness of bond-like stocks,” Carvalho said.Bank of America has reiterated its overweight rating for Brazilian stocks in its Latin American portfolio, seeing the Ibovespa at 120,000 in the end of this year. “Flows into equities should keep supporting the market,” BofA’s Latin America equity strategist David Beker wrote in a note.Passing pension reform is also expected to unlock a long-awaited rebound in Brazil’s economy. Since the beginning of the year, economists have been lowering their estimates for gross domestic product in 2019, as doubts about the country’s fiscal outlook have kept investments on hold.Here’s a list of strategists’ top picks in Brazil:Bradesco BBIBanco do Brasil SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, B3 SA, CVC Brasil Operadora e Agencia de Viagens SA, Lojas Renner SA, Energisa SA, Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, Vale SA, Gerdau SA and Petroleo Brasileiro SABTG PactualPetroleo Brasileiro SA, Localiza Rent a Car SA, Banco Bradesco SA, Lojas Renner SA, Rumo SA, Cosan SA, Oi SA, Ambev SA, JBS S and Totvs SAItau BBABanco do Brasil SA, Banco Bradesco SA, Cyrela Brazil Realty SA, Cia de Saneamento de Minas Gerais, Kroton Educacional SA, Rumo SA, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Multiplan Empreendimentos Imobiliarios SA, Vale SA and Azul SAJPMorganBanco Bradesco SA, IRB Brasil Resseguros, Cia Brasileira de Distribuicao, Vale SA, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Rumo SA, Randon SA and Cyrela Brazil Realty SASafraItau Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA, Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA, Banco do Brasil SA, B3 SA, Cia Brasileira de Distribuicao, Localiza Rent a Car SA, Vale SA, Bradespar SA, Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA, Petrobras Distribuidora SA, Telefonica Brasil SA, Rumo SA, Energisa SA and EZ Tec Empreendimentos e Participacoes SATo contact the reporter on this story: Vinícius Andrade in São Paulo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at email@example.com, Scott Schnipper, Richard RichtmyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Brazil was the standout in JPMorgan’s re-rating of Latin American equity markets as the firm raised its year-end price target for the Ibovespa index while lowering forecasts for the rest of the region.Strategist Emy Shayo increased the 2019 target for the Brazilian benchmark to 108,000 from 105,900, implying about a 6% increase from current levels. The more optimistic projection is based on expectations that approval of social security reform will lead to more growth and lower risk. It comes as Brazil’s weaker-than-expected economic recovery has been leading to downward revisions to earnings estimates.“Our analysts are shrugging off Brazil growth concerns and focusing on policyimprovement driving a better investment environment,” Shayo, who has an overweight rating on the nation’s equities, said in a June 24 research note. “We are confident that the approval of the social security reform should quickly ignite growth in 2H.”Meanwhile, the target prices for Chile’s IPSA, Mexico’s Mexbol, Colombia’s ColCap and Peruvian stocks were cut by 9.8%, 7%, 5.6% and 3.7%, respectively.JPMorgan has an overweight rating for Colombian shares due to “good growth” and cheap valuation. The bank has a neutral stance for Chile and is underweight for Mexico and Peru. Argentine stocks were inaugurated at underweight after their recent outperformance and uncertainty around the upcoming presidential election.\--With assistance from Eduardo Thomson.To contact the reporter on this story: Vinícius Andrade in São Paulo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at email@example.com, Richard RichtmyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It’s been more than a month since U.S. equities lagged behind their global peers on consecutive days. Perhaps it’s just a reflection of investors deciding it’s a good time to cull some gains with U.S. stocks among the best performers this year, especially on a currency-adjusted basis. The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China has taken a turn for the worse, and nobody is really sure how much damage it will do to profits.
On Thursday, Bolsonaro sought to build bridges with political parties he had long criticized, but failed to get firm backing in talks with leaders that together represent about 200 of the country’s 513 deputies. The day before his economy minister, Paulo Guedes, was broadsided in a lower house hearing that showcased the government’s lack of cohesion and strategy in Congress.
Brazilian assets are suffering as increased friction between President Jair Bolsonaro and some of his key allies in Congress threaten to slow or even derail the pension overhaul seen as critical to controlling the fiscal deficit. While foreign investors had long warned of continued political risk in Brazil, local investors had fueled a surge in stocks and bonds that began in mid-2018 on optimism Bolsonaro would garner sufficient support for the bill. Bolsonaro’s public support has plummeted, he’s antagonizing key allies and his cabinet is riven by intrigue and infighting.
Clearly, investors were overjoyed with the prospect that the Fed had their backs. The concern here is that the Fed’s moves will only serve to suppress market rates, putting further pressure on the already razor-thin difference between the short-term rates banks pay on their own borrowings and the long-term rates they charge lenders. In the banking business, this is known as the net interest margin.
Not only that, stocks are on track for their best quarter since soaring 15 percent in the July through September period of 2009. “The pain trade for stocks is still up,” Michael Hartnett, the chief investment strategist at Bank of America, wrote in research note Tuesday. The firm’s closely monitored monthly investor survey found that allocations are just a net 3 percent “overweight” to global equities, the lowest level since September 2016.
“It’s difficult to see another story as positive as Brazil’s in the region,” said Emy Shayo, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of Latin America equity strategy. The bank sees a “virtuous cycle” amid tighter fiscal policy and easing monetary policy, a combination that “attracts external capital and helps companies to recover a lot of what they lost in terms of profits," according to Shayo.
Indexes that measure the cost to protect both investment- and speculative-grade U.S. corporate bonds from default fell to their lowest levels since October, a sign of optimism about borrowers’ ability to pay their debts. The credit-focused investment firm announced that it was selling a 62 percent stake to Brookfield Asset Management in a deal worth about $4.7 billion. Well, for one, Oaktree’s chairman and co-founder is the legendary Howard Marks, who built his fortune as a vulture investor in distressed debt.
Breakeven rates on two-year Treasuries — a measure of what bond traders expect the rate of inflation to be over the life of the securities — has risen to the highest since May. In addition, the difference in yield between bonds due in 10 years and longer-term debt due in 30 years – a part of the curve that’s less influenced by Fed policy – is the widest since 2017. To be sure, no one is calling for runaway inflation. At 1.90 percent, the two-year breakeven rate is below the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target.
The Australia dollar is usually one of the major beneficiaries of a global “risk on” rally in markets like the one this year given its close economic ties to China. The latest decline came as Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe shifted to a neutral policy outlook as he acknowledged increased economic risks at home and abroad. Indeed, the nation’s economic data has been consistently falling below analysts’ forecasts since the beginning of December as measured by the Citi Economic Surprise Indexes amid a weakening housing market and high consumer debt loads.