In a surprisingly bearish report, Citi's Matt King has issued a new, long-awaited note in which he asks rhetorically "what’s a manager supposed to do when by early March your asset class has already exceeded your expectation for full-year returns? Take profit and take the rest of the year off, of course! And if it carries on rallying, go outright short!" And yet, he adds, "somehow nobody seems to want to." The reason for that, according to King is that as we showed demonstrated last week using JPM and BofA data, "the rally owes more to inflows and short covering than to institutional investor exuberance. And part is that the economic data do seem genuinely to be improving."
Nonetheless, King's assessment of the current environment is downbeat and to the point: "sell we think you should, not only in € credit (as we advised a couple of weeks ago) but also more broadly."
He then lays out seven reasons "not to trust your inner Trump", which are as follows:
1. The Fed may stop the inflow party
The Citi strategist begins by noting that "perhaps the best reason to remain long is that institutional investors seem not to be." He adds that the vast majority of the FI investors we have seen in recent weeks still believe in secular stagnation, and further notes that "to judge from our survey, overall positions have been creeping longer, but this is due overwhelmingly to positions among $ investors: those in € and £ credit have actually been falling (Figure 1)."
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