Mikkel Rosenvold
8 weeks ago

Analyst: These trades are popular among professional investors right now

With the Fed signaling rate cuts, US equity funds see a surge in investments, marking a strong return to risk-on trading.
Double exposure over urban setting with finance graphics.
Pixels Hunter / Shutterstock.com

This week's market analysis by Oskar Vårdal of Steno Research reveals that professional investors are leaning heavily into risk-on trades, inspired by the Federal Reserve's indication of upcoming rate cuts.

This optimism, driven by a reflationary trend in the US, has led to a significant influx of investments into US equity funds, reaching the highest levels in two years.

Despite the market's overall bullish sentiment, experts caution against complacency, particularly in European markets, where stocks are beginning to look overpriced according to quantitative models.

However, momentum strategies have been exceptionally profitable, suggesting that now may not be the best time to bet against the market trend.

In the US, sectors such as industrials, materials, and energy are attracting the most investment, benefiting from the shift towards cyclical stocks.

This rotation suggests some sectors are now trading at a premium, potentially signaling a moment for investors to consider taking profits, especially as these trades become more mainstream.

The foreign exchange (FX) market remains less affected by these trends, with the US dollar gaining strength against several currencies despite the shift towards cyclical assets.

This indicates a complex interplay between different market forces, where central bank policies and interest rates continue to hold sway.

Commodities have emerged as a significant aspect of the cyclical rebound, with notable increases in the prices of oil, silver, and gold.

Yet, as positions in these assets become more crowded, the risk-reward scenario becomes less clear, prompting some investors to secure profits in assets like copper and silver.

Additionally, the options market shows a spike in copper bets, especially from China, suggesting that any sudden market shifts could have significant impacts. In fixed income, investors are increasingly taking long positions in bonds, anticipating the Fed's promised rate cuts despite the inherent risks.

Conclusion: Current trends highlight a strong preference among professional investors for cyclical and momentum-driven trades, fueled by positive signals from the Fed.

While the bullish momentum presents opportunities, the increasing consensus around these trades calls for cautious optimism.

Divergences across asset classes, especially in FX markets, further complicate the investment landscape, underscoring the need for a strategic and vigilant approach to navigating the current market dynamics.

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