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BlackRock buying more UK equities and cutting down on bonds : UKInvesting

It isn’t true of anywhere. The UK’s vaccination rate is 5x almost everywhere in Europe. European markets are basically where they were pre-Covid, and there seems to be the view that they will finish vaccinating by summer (to be clear, the UK has 5x the rate, and likely won’t achieve finish by summer). The UK markets are cheap, they were already cheap because of Brexit alone, and you now have a faster rate of vaccinations.

None of the risks you mention look significant. The most significant one is labour market scarring, I am highly sceptical of this. Australia is ahead of us, their labour market has been slower recovering, consumers are pessimistic but companies seem to be expecting increased labour costs/higher hiring need. Indeed, the biggest issue with the UK is a deficit of bankruptcies, not too many. I don’t think anyone knows what will happen with furlough/corona loans but saying the UK has problems is missing the wood for the trees.

It depends what you mean by tech stock. The UK has vastly more tech stocks than the EU, and most other markets in the world. As with the US, there tends to be a reductive interpretation of what a tech stock is (and an overly expansive definition of whatever the latest catch phrase is, i.e. every company calling themselves a “cloud” company). For example, is RightMove a tech stock? Again, the benchmark for comparison is always the US, that is fine…but the UK isn’t the only country that isn’t the US, and is the only country that is reasonably close (and which is investable).

I think the odds are slightly less favourable than they were a month ago. The very easy money has already been made (I told people last month how to make bank) but you are still getting amazing prices if you want to hold long-term. I remember a month ago, lots of institutions were starting to look at the short Europe trade but none of them got bear to own the GBP. The institutional mindset takes a while to change. I would own the top names in each sector, stocks exposed to domestic travel, anyway to play an increase in capital market activity (for example, Numis) also works (I am also still short EUR against GBP and AUD, I am buying puts on certain EU indexes at some point too).

I will say though: I don’t think it makes sense to own airlines. Ones operating inside Europe are limited by the slow pace of vaccinations in Spain. Ones outside are going to be limited by govt, given that travel was such a huge contributor, it is very unlikely that most countries will lift rules too soon (inevitably, places like Greece and Spain will because they have no choice).

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