U.S. funds keep global portfolio steady ahead of Presidential election: Reuters poll

October 28, 2016 7:02 AM EDT

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign event in Geneva, Ohio, U.S., October 27 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


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(Reuters) - U.S. fund managers made no major changes to their model global portfolio this month, as they wait for November's Presidential election and a possible rate hike by the Federal Reserve the following month to pass, a Reuters poll found.

The survey of 13 fund managers, conducted Oct 18-27, showed recommended equity allocations were cut by around one percentage point to 51.3 percent from 52.2 percent, with exposure to bonds also trimmed slightly.

The results come amid a broad sell-off in bond markets that has sent yields of major sovereign debt soaring to their highest in several months and signals an ongoing degree of caution among asset managers on their investments.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield climbed on Friday to a five-month high just under 1.88 percent, helped along by surging British Gilt and German bund yields. Shorter-term interbank lending rates have also surged to their highest in over seven years.

Gold prices, which are up around 20 percent so far this year, have been one of the major reasons for investors to move to alternative instruments.

Recommendations for non-traditional investments, such as derivatives and commodities, were raised to 7.2 percent in the latest poll from 6.1 percent the previous month. Allocations to cash and property holdings also were also up slightly.

"We believe the economy and the financial markets are weathering the many challenges without substantive damage, and that equity markets can continue their upward trend, though not without some setbacks," said Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Capital.

"As third quarter earnings reports are announced and distilled by the capital markets, we still would not be surprised to see another period of consolidation in the short-run, or at least until the Presidential election is over."

In the short run, much will depend on the outcome of the Nov 8 election and whether the Fed raises interest rates in December, as most now expect.

A majority of economists in a recent Reuters poll said Democrat Hillary Clinton's election platform was likely to generate the best U.S. economic outcome over the longer term. That survey also placed a 70 percent probability of the Fed hiking rates at its Dec. 13-14 meeting. [ECILT/US]

A regional breakdown of the fund manager survey showed a fall in allocations for North American equity, down to 64.1 percent from 64.4 percent, with a slight increase in allocations in the United Kingdom and in Asia excluding Japan.

(Reporting by Sumanta Dey and Krishna Eluri; Polling by Krishna and Kailash Bathija; Editing by Toby Chopra)



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