Stock markets sell-off isn’t the start of bear market

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The sell-off this week isn’t the start of a major or prolonged bear market, but rather, simply a correction, experts said on Friday.

Markets over the last few days have plunged, with U.S. stocks posting their worst two-day stretch in eight months. The three major indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — all fell more than 5 percent between Wednesday and Thursday. Asia markets followed suit on Thursday, with mainland China markets tumbling more than 5 percent, and Japan’s Nikkei index falling almost 4 percent.

Despite those moves, financial services firm Barings said in a note that there’s no cause for panic yet.

“The sharp sell-off we are seeing in the market has left a lot of folks wondering if this is the beginning of the end. Investors shouldn’t panic,” said Christopher Smart, head of macroeconomic and geopolitical research at Barings.

“So far, it has the feel of a temporary correction that will take some of the excess air out of tech stocks,” he said. This year, shares of technology companies have outperformed other sectors, but were hit hard by the losing streak on Wall Street on Thursday.

That sentiment was echoed by asset management firm Amundi, which said that the “bear checklist is not yet flashing red.”

“Economic indicators are still sound with growth above potential albeit slowing also in the US, while on financial market indicators, the picture is more scattered but not scary,” Amundi experts said in a report.

Shane Olivier, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital, said “history tells us” a major bear market requires a recession in the U.S., but that is not happening.

2018-10-12 07:10:16

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