Market Watch: Asset Manager Unigestion Warns of a Huge Selloff, Forecasting a Global Financial Crisis-level Recession

April 09, 2020

Article by Archie Mitchell in The Wall Street Market Watch

Unigestion, the global asset manager, has warned that the outbreak of COVID-19 will lead to a recession on the scale of the global financial crisis.

Unigestion told investors that, in a base-case scenario, the coronavirus crisis would cause a 3.6% economic contraction in the eurozone and a 2.9% contraction in the U.S. for the year 2020. Its extreme scenario would see 6.6% and 5.9% contractions respectively. In 2009, U.S. gross domestic product shrank by 2.5% while the eurozone’s shrank by 4.5%.

Despite the recent rebound in stocks, Unigestion cautioned against betting on a quick market recovery.

In a conference call on Wednesday, the firm’s investment manager, Salman Baig, said that as companies report earnings in the coming weeks the depth of the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis will become clearer. That, in turn, will trigger a further selloff in the stock market.

”We think that the macro will essentially reassert itself and that it is going to be quite a challenging time for the markets ahead,” he said.

Baig urges caution for investors looking to buy cheap-looking stocks. While prices have fallen, lowering the price-to-earnings ratio often used as a gauge of a stock’s value, earnings expectations are set to fall as well.

“Prices have fallen dramatically from where they were…but if we go back to our base-case scenario that we’re looking at something like a 2008 type shock, we think that earnings expectations still have quite a distance to fall.”

To read this article in Market Watch in its entirety, click here.

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