Global investors remain overwhelmingly bullish on US and Chinese tech shares, while short positions on emerging equities are growing increasingly popular, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest monthly fund manager survey has shown.
Investors picked “Long Faang and Bat” as the “most crowded” trade for the seventh straight month, Baml’s August survey found, referring to US tech companies Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, and China’s Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
Tech has kept its crown, even though results-driven declines by Facebook and Twitter last month triggered anxiety over the mega-cap stocks responsible for the lion’s share of stockmarket gains in the US and China.
Going short on emerging-market equities was the second most popular trade, according to the survey, which was conducted between August 3 and August 9 just before Turkey’s lira plunged 16% against the dollar last week.
Investors had a small underweight on emerging market equities, but Baml said prior emerging market crisis lows saw investors’ further underweight, suggesting investors could slash allocations a lot further from here.
Among risks to global markets, investors said for the third month in a row that trade war was the most concerning.
They continued to position for a global monetary tightening cycle led by the US Federal Reserve. A net 54% of investors were underweight bonds, while 20% were overweight global banks, which gain from higher interest rates.
Overall, global investors became more cautious in August, raising their cash allocation to 5% from 4.7%.