BlackRock upgrades outlook for emerging market stocks

August 22, 2016 11:03 AM EDT

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012. B REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

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By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK) said on Monday it is upgrading its view on emerging market stocks, adding that the equities will continue thriving as central banks keep interest rates low.

Rates globally remaining "lower for longer" keeps the risk of the U.S. dollar rising slim, while increasing the likelihood of more rate cuts by emerging market central banks, Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist for the world's largest asset manager, said in a note.

That combination makes assets in emerging markets relatively attractive, he said.

Meanwhile, investors have been pumping billions into funds tracking that market. Emerging-market stock funds in the United States took in $2.7 billion in the weekly period through Aug. 17, according to Thomson Reuters Lipper data, their seventh straight week reeling in cash.

"We see room for further inflows," said Turnill.

BlackRock had been reluctant to raise its forecast on stocks in countries such as China and India, keeping its view "neutral" on the market for the better part of this year even as it said pressures were easing on developing countries.

But Monday's note upgraded emerging market stocks to "overweight." That shows that BlackRock expects the equities to do well, in U.S. dollar terms, over the next three months.

Turnill said BlackRock prefers investments in "countries showing economic improvements or having clear reform catalysts," citing India and the "ASEAN" grouping of countries in Southeast Asia.

New York-based BlackRock has already been "overweight" emerging-market debt since July.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Paul Simao and Jonathan Oatis)

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