Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Citi Shoots Down Wall Street’s V-Shaped Recovery Theory

Human coronavirus. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Human coronavirus particles. Coronaviruses primarily infect the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and can cause the common cold, gastrointestinal infections and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Coronaviruses are named after the corona (crown) of surface proteins (outer dots) that are used to penetrate a host cell. Once inside the cell, the virus particles (virions) use the cell's machinery to make more copies of themselves. (Image: Science Photo Library)

Expectations that the global economy will bounce back from the coronavirus are looking increasingly misplaced, according to Citigroup Global Markets.

“V-shape recovery theory has been significantly challenged, as investors correctly entertain the idea of a far more protracted recovery,” strategists including Luis Costa, Dumitru Vicol and Sara Felizardo wrote in a note.

The Covid-19 virus, which started in China, is now weighing on developing nations directly through supply chains and via more sluggish growth, the strategists said. While the Federal Reserve’s rate cut has helped stocks par losses, lower rates worldwide won’t “lift all boats in EM.”

“The feedback loop between U.S. equities, EM credit and EMFX in this environment is biased to the downside,” the strategists wrote. “It is absolutely clear to every single investor that the general end of 2019 EM/DM growth consensus is not going to materialize.”

Emerging-market assets struggle since outbreak spooks markets

The coronavirus and measures to contain it offer a rare twin supply-demand shock to the world’s economy with Chinese factories shuttered just as consumers become more hesitant to shop, travel or eat out.

Read: Global Economy Is Gripped by Rare Twin Supply-Demand Shock

Outside the most at-risk nations in Asia, Israel, Russia and Chile are among the most vulnerable markets from a global slowdown standpoint, according to Citi. Pressure on governments to pay health care expenses could also leave the Caribbean, nations that were once a part of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa in trouble, they wrote.

Citi prefers to receive the five-year point in the Russia IRS single-currency curve on the view that the nation’s CPI will be on a downward trend until a year-end rebound. Citi also recommends shorting South Africa’s rand versus a basket of euros and U.S. dollars as the nation’s economy struggles.

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