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Oct. 31, 2019, 7:44 a.m. EDT

Credit Suisse calls for ‘tactical pause’ in U.K. stocks ahead of election

Brexit outcome still a risk

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch


Associated Press

Credit Suisse advised investors to take a “tactical pause” in U.K. stocks before the December 12th general election.

In a strategy note, the brokerage flagged a number of short-term risks. It said domestic U.K. stocks are “significantly overbought,” said election uncertainty may cause the market to worry, and said the future trading arrangement between the U.K. and Europe may, if along the lines of a pact reached with Canada, “have almost the same economic impact as a no deal Brexit.”

But it said over 6 to 12 months, there’s opportunity. The bank says there’s a 65% chance of a Conservative government, and notes the average swing in the 6 weeks prior to an election typically — though not in 2017 — is limited to about 6 percentage points.

The Brexit transitional period is likely to be extended significantly beyond December 2020 and it expects a trade deal will go beyond the so-called Canada-plus model. Valuations of U.K. equities remain at a 20-year low, risk appetite remains depressed in the U.K. and fiscal easing will support U.K. growth, the broker said.

Credit Suisse says it prefers cheap international stocks like Diageo /zigman2/quotes/205611832/delayed UK:DGE +0.57%  , Johnson Matthey /zigman2/quotes/207054035/delayed UK:JMAT +0.54%  , Relx /zigman2/quotes/207159628/delayed UK:REL +0.22%  , Informa /zigman2/quotes/207253704/delayed UK:INF -1.24%  , ABF /zigman2/quotes/204493701/delayed UK:ABF +1.19%   and Imperial Brands /zigman2/quotes/208789104/delayed UK:IMB +0.28%   , and among domestic stocks, it highlighted utilities United Utilities /zigman2/quotes/203908003/delayed UK:UU +0.82%   and National Grid /zigman2/quotes/208805676/delayed UK:NG +0.80%  , and said banks Barclays /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC -1.47%   and Lloyds look cheap relative to peers.

It downgraded U.K. retailers to underweight from benchmark and said Marks & Spencer /zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed UK:MKS -1.85%  is an underperform. It’s also underweight the London-related householders and office REITs.

The U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.29%  on Thursday slumped 1% to 7257.45.

Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +0.16%   /zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed UK:RDSB +0.14%  exerted a big downward pull, as the oil giant dropped 3.9% as it reported a 15% drop in third-quarter profit and said its $25 billion stock buyback plan is uncertain because of “the prevailing weak macroeconomic conditions and challenging outlook.”

Lloyds Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/202285510/delayed UK:LLOY -0.84%  fell 1.7% as the U.K. bank was the latest to report a charge for misselling payment protection insurance, booking a 1.8 billion pound charge.

/zigman2/quotes/205611832/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,914.00 p
+16.50 +0.57%
Volume: 417,343
Jan. 19, 2021 11:38a
P/E Ratio
49.14
Dividend Yield
2.40%
Market Cap
£67.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
£422,916
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/zigman2/quotes/207054035/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,777.00 p
+15.00 +0.54%
Volume: 79,960
Jan. 19, 2021 11:35a
P/E Ratio
52.18
Dividend Yield
1.84%
Market Cap
£5.14 billion
Rev. per Employee
£949,518
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/zigman2/quotes/207159628/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,818.00 p
+4.00 +0.22%
Volume: 593,242
Jan. 19, 2021 11:37a
P/E Ratio
27.73
Dividend Yield
2.51%
Market Cap
£35.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
£237,169
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/zigman2/quotes/207253704/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
527.40 p
-6.60 -1.24%
Volume: 238,920
Jan. 19, 2021 11:36a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£8.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204493701/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,297.00 p
+27.00 +1.19%
Volume: 232,511
Jan. 19, 2021 11:37a
P/E Ratio
39.88
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£17.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208789104/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,624.00 p
+4.50 +0.28%
Volume: 166,797
Jan. 19, 2021 11:35a
P/E Ratio
10.28
Dividend Yield
8.48%
Market Cap
£15.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
£511,385
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203908003/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
931.40 p
+7.60 +0.82%
Volume: 120,652
Jan. 19, 2021 11:37a
P/E Ratio
57.82
Dividend Yield
4.60%
Market Cap
£6.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
£337,748
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208805676/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
879.60 p
+7.00 +0.80%
Volume: 702,579
Jan. 19, 2021 11:34a
P/E Ratio
21.13
Dividend Yield
5.57%
Market Cap
£31.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
£630,283
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
149.10 p
-2.22 -1.47%
Volume: 9.74M
Jan. 19, 2021 11:38a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£25.81 billion
Rev. per Employee
£371,819
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
135.55 p
-2.55 -1.85%
Volume: 2.77M
Jan. 19, 2021 11:37a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£2.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
£134,851
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,739.93
+19.28 +0.29%
Volume: 173,094
Jan. 19, 2021 11:38a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 1,472.00
+2.40 +0.16%
Volume: 723,495
Jan. 19, 2021 11:38a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.03%
Market Cap
£113.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
£3.21M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 1,408.80
+2.00 +0.14%
Volume: 1.00M
Jan. 19, 2021 11:38a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.03%
Market Cap
£113.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
£3.21M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202285510/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
35.87 p
-0.31 -0.84%
Volume: 50.97M
Jan. 19, 2021 11:37a
P/E Ratio
87.49
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£25.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
£635,594
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Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch markets editor for Europe. Follow him on Twitter: @MKTWgoldstein.

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