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December 2016

Investment insights

Investment Clock in Overheat

Both our growth and inflation readings increased at the margin over the month leaving the Investment Clock firmly in Overheat. 
 
The Investment Clock has been in the ‘Overheat’ phase of the economic cycle for the best part of a year. This phase of the economic cycle has historically supported commodities, which have been the strongest performing asset class year to date. This phase also tends to see central banks hike rates to cool an overheating economy. Over the past few weeks, we have heard a number of Fed speakers come out in support of another rate hike despite uncertainty after the US presidential election. However, while the Fed is on track to raise rates in December, central banks in Europe and the UK seem keen to keep their options open and maintain an easing bias.
 
Our global growth reading improved slightly over the month. This was driven by a rise in the pace of growth, as the leading indicator was unchanged. Business confidence in all regions remains at elevated levels. The trend of unemployment was softer, with the US slightly negative. Our global inflation score also increased over the month, with the trend improving across all regions. The leading component was also stronger, led by improvement in Japan where the prices paid survey rose strongly.
 
Positioning: Overweight commodities, underweight bonds
The Overheat phase of the Investment Clock typically favours commodities over other asset classes and it remains our preferred asset class. With upward pressure on bond yields from both real yields and inflation expectations, we maintain our underweight positions in bonds and REITs. Within equity regions, we prefer the UK over Europe and Australia over Hong Kong. In currencies, we continue to have a negative stance on sterling and favour the Norwegian krone over the Canadian dollar. In equity sectors we prefer Energy to Materials and Consumer Discretionary. 
 

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© 2017 FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009, AFSL No. 409340.
Fidelity, Fidelity International and the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL limited.

This document is issued by FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009, AFSL No. 409340 ("Fidelity Australia"). Fidelity Australia is a member of the FIL Limited group of companies commonly known as Fidelity International. Prior to making an investment decision retail investors should seek advice from their financial adviser. Please remember past performance is not a guide to the future. Investors should also obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statements ("PDS") for the fund mentioned in this document. The PDS is available on www.fidelity.com.au or can be obtained by contacting Fidelity Australia on 1800 119 270. This document has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider such matters before acting on the information contained in this document. This document may include general commentary on market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions which should not be construed as investment advice. Information stated herein about specific securities is subject to change. Any reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold these securities. While the information contained in this document has been prepared with reasonable care no responsibility or liability is accepted for any errors or omissions or misstatements however caused. The document may not be reproduced or transmitted without prior written permission of Fidelity Australia. The issuer of Fidelity funds is FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009. References to ($) are in Australian dollars unless stated otherwise. © 2017 FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited. Fidelity, Fidelity International, and the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL Limited.