'We've made no major changes in tactical allocation and remain moderately overweight in equities and cash, with a corresponding underweight position in bonds. The only place where we have made a small change is in our currency positioning. We have recently become slightly more favourable towards the US dollar and are therefore now modestly overweight in our portfolios. We have funded this through an underweight in the euro (or, in certain cases, sterling). Although we continue to take a positive view of Europe, we think that the euro’s recent strength against the dollar has far outstripped its fundamental support.'
'We've moved to an underweight stance in US equities, based on rich valuations. This region has done so well for so long, so taking profits is a prudent move. To counter that reduction we've been increasing our allocation to emerging market equities, which are enjoying positive economic momentum and relative valuations are attractive.
'On the fixed income side we have reduced emerging market debt and high yield bonds to neutral. Although they still offer decent yields, credit spreads are tight so there is not much left to play for in terms of capital appreciation. We are not predicting an imminent decline in these sectors but with additional capital gains likely to be scarce, we can’t justify an overweight tilt.'
'J.P.Morgan Asset Management has many investment desks that actively manage portfolios daily. In the portfolios that can invest across asset classes, we have maintained our preference for equities and credit over government bonds. We have raised exposure to emerging markets through both equity and debt.'
'Our House View has been based on a cautious medium-term outlook for some time, as a political, financial and economic drivers point to higher levels of volatility. However, there have been some changes from an asset allocation perspective recently. In UK gilts, expensive valuations prompted us to move from neutral to light. Meanwhile, in US equities, we moved from very heavy to heavy; the asset class has rallied in recent months thanks in part to the prospect of fiscal easing and deregulation. However, as problems with healthcare reform have highlighted, there is no guarantee the Trump administration will be successful in delivering on its promised legislation.'
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