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Why 2019 will be another rocky year for markets

Why 2019 will be another rocky year for markets

Investors will need to prepare for higher volatility than they have been used to in recent years, according to David Coombs, multi-asset fund manager at Rathbones. 

He said 2019 would be another rocky year for markets as the dispersion performance potentially increases.

Mr Coombs said: "Markets are becoming more flighty, creating large moves in stocks for short-term reasons.

"We think there should be opportunities for active managers to take advantage of these dips, especially from forced sellers like index-trackers. To do this, though, investors will have to accept higher volatility."

Mr Coombs said the two events that dominated in 2018 were Brexit and the trade policies of US President Donald Trump, and he expects those to continue to preoccupy investors in the year ahead. 

The fund manager said: "Sterling has been following the wending road of Brexit negotiations, up when hope rises, but mostly down when gloom and intransigence prevail.

"As the year comes to a close though, the FTSE 100 hasn't benefited from the currency boost to earnings as much as you would expect. We believe that could have something to do with the record low foreign investment in the index.

"Even a moderate amount of certainty, either way, could lure investors back in 2019.

Meanwhile, despondency is rife for property: housebuilders and domestic banks have been hit hard, yet open-ended property funds have remained remarkably resilient.

"Will 2019 be the year when their net asset values (NAVs) finally reflect mark to market rather than hope?"

david.thorpe@ft.com