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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. These include expensive US stocks, pressure on earnings, an uncertain outlook for China, high debt and the US elections.
The biggest adjustment has been that we have closed our short position in the British pound for now. The direct Brexit fallout appears limited, with retail sales and confidence numbers rebounding in August. We do not think that the UK is out of the woods, but the positive data flow will make sterling susceptible to sharp movements. We will look for better levels to re-enter short pound positions.
Additionally, with the continued spread compression in the high yield markets, we have reduced our overweight in that asset step by step. At the same time, we have increased our exposure to European credits, as we believe that this market segment will continue to be dominated by the ECB buying program for at least another half year. We expect spreads to tighten further, with investors looking at alternatives that have slightly more yield, such as financial credits.