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This year we have broken with tradition and compiled our look-ahead as a dynamic infographic. Given the tumultuous changes seen in 2016 we have entitled our outlook 'Time for Plan B'. In our 2017 outlook we focus on more than a dozen issues, including the US economy, Europe's 'problem children' Italy and the UK, China, emerging markets and valuations of stocks worldwide.
Over the past month, Robeco Investment Solutions has made a number of minor changes to its multi-asset portfolio. On balance, we remain underweight equities, as we see numerous risks which have been mostly ignored by stock markets, due to the natural upward drift during low volatility trading periods.
Markets reacted strongly following the UK’s surprising vote to leave the EU. Yields of developed market government bonds came down significantly as investors fled into safe asset classes. Risky assets were under pressure. Credit spreads widened and the British pound experienced its biggest drop in 30 years versus the dollar.
The Robeco Financial Institutions Bonds fund invests mainly in subordinated financial. The market for subordinated financials opened lower this morning, in line with other risky assets like equity. Throughout the morning prices started to recover a bit and we have seen buyers in the market. Market weakness was well spread, though obviously UK names underperformed.
High-quality European issuers in the high-yield market opened 2 points down this morning after UK’s vote on Brexit. This price reaction is not severe, especially if you relate this to the fierce moves seen in equity markets. We considered the order of magnitude fair, given the strong support by the corporate buying program of the ECB and healthy balance sheet of European BB credits.