Economic and sovereign risks are likely to dissipate in 2012, according to Barclays Capital’s quarterly research publication, the latest titled, “Global Outlook: A Cautious Step Forward.” As a result, an economic rebound could come as early as the spring.
“Now is the time to look for assets whose valuations have become attractive,” said Larry Kantor, head of research at Barclays Capital. “For the first time since the euro area crisis began, we see the building blocks of a framework for a sustainable solution. In addition, global growth is holding up better than feared—and the makings of a bottom and rebound by the spring are beginning to come into focus.”
Currently, however, Barclays sees fixed income still as a better valuation than equities, as well as income-producing securities insulated from risks in Europe.
Should investors still be interested in stocks, Barclays recommends socks with high dividends, low leverage and low euro area exposure.
Among credit, the company’s preference is for high-grade, non-financial U.S. companies.
Barclays warns that growth in emerging markets will slow in the coming year, particularly in China, where Barclays sees a contraction in its double-digit growth of recent years.
The biggest threat to the world economy that Barclays sees is geopolitical risks in the Middle East and North Africa, extending the threat to oil supplies.