John Chatfeild-Roberts: Markets peaked in January

John Chatfeild-Roberts has said global equity markets peaked in January, before stocks sold off and investors declared the return of volatility.

John Chatfeild-Roberts: Markets peaked in January

Speaking at Jupiter Asset Management’s annual press dinner on Wednesday, Chatfeild-Roberts said there were three reasons why the Jupiter Merlin team, which he heads, believed markets had topped out. These were rising US interest rates, the withdrawal of quantitative easing and stock market valuations.

“We believe markets peaked on 26 January,” he said.

On the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative tightening programme, the fund of funds manager said the central bank was now taking $30bn monthly out of the system, approximately the same as the European Central Bank is putting into the system, as it too gradually withdraws its stimulus.

On valuations, Chatfeild-Roberts said: “You only have to look at the growth part of the indices to see they are overly valued. If you look at growth versus value in the US the differential is roughly back to where it was in the year 2000.”

“Generally speaking we are positioned for tougher times,” he said.

Jupiter Merlin Income, the largest fund in the multi-manager range with £2.6bn assets under management, currently holds 35.8% in UK equities, 35.5% in fixed interest, 13.2% in global equities, 1.3% in emerging markets and 3.5% in cash, according to its April factsheet. The remaining 10.7% is in the Mayfair Capital Commercial Property Trust and a physical gold ETF.

The range attracted attention last year when it axed Woodford Equity Income as a holding.

More recently, it shook up its emerging markets allocation in its Growth and Worldwide Portfolios, approximately halving its allocation in Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders to make room for the Invesco Perpetual Asian fund, managed by William Lam.

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