Skandia: Eurozone crisis is coming to an end
Rupert Watson, head of asset allocation at the group, says the first signs of economic recovery on the continent are beginning to show.
European markets are finally on the road to recovery, according to Skandia’s Rupert Watson (pictured)
, who believes Germany’s ratification of the ECB’s bond-buying scheme is a victory for equity investors.
While economic data in the region remains frail, Watson, head of asset allocation at Skandia, believes that there are sure signs that the eurozone headwinds are beginning to ease and markets will recover strongly as a result.
"The eurozone has been battered by bad news for a long time but at last we are seeing some good news that looks like the first green shoots of recovery," he said.
"Though economic data remains very weak, this easing of tension within the eurozone could lead to a better economic performance next year, which would have positive implications for deficit-reduction plans and the global economy," Watson added.
He also believes that this sense of positivity will lead to a period of bullish investment across all sectors.
"Yesterday's news that Germany's constitutional court has rejected efforts to block a permanent euro-area rescue fund paves the way for the €500bn bailout fund championed by Angela Merkel."
"We continue to think that the ECB's bond-buying announcement last week will mark a significant turning point in the crisis. This is positive for the eurozone, the UK, the global economy and markets."
Watson also drew attention to a number of other macro issues that will encourage European investors, including the spike in Greek equities and the troika’s confirmation that Portuguese deficit-reduction plans are progressing forward.
AFI panellist Ben Willis, head of research at Whitechurch Securities, believes that although no one can accurately predict the future of the European economy, there is certainly more reason for optimism now than there was a few months ago.
"It is definitely a case of buy and hold at the moment, while no one can whole-heartedly say we are fully on the road to recovery and it is job done, but there is certainly cause for optimism in European markets," he said.
"Investors must understand that there will be potholes over the coming months and there will be short-term volatility."
Willis has been bullish on European equities for some time and has already reaped rewards.
"It has been a core area of exposure focus as we have used it for equity income and capital growth," he explained.
"In our contrarian view, the corporate side of the European market is a very attractive proposition, despite the pressure placed upon it from macro issues."
Willis thinks that investors can find opportunity if they are willing to look past global and political problems and concentrate on good stock picking.
"There are still very strong companies based in Europe, like BMW, that you can buy into at very cheap prices."
"I think if an investor was to buy BMW stocks now there is a significant chance they could be sitting on a massive profit in a few years’ time," he finished.