20 Oct 2014

Global shares may have had a “rough week”, but there are signs that the stock markets may be close to a low, says AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver.

Mr Oliver said concerns about global growth and increased concerns about the Ebola crisis have seen most share markets fall in recent weeks.

But Australian shares, having led on the way down, managed to rise over the past week as investors started to look for bargains.

“While doom and gloom is now rife, there are some signs that shares may be at or close to a low,” Mr Oliver said.

“Eight per cent yields on Australian banks are hard to resist. Global shares are now down 8.5 per cent from their September high and Australian shares are down 6.8 per cent,” he said.

“Bond yields continued to slide on global growth fears and on the back of safe-haven buying. Commodity prices remained under selling pressure but the Australian dollar rose slightly as the [US dollar] pulled back a bit on talk that the Fed may delay the end of QE and rate hikes.

“With our composite measure of investor sentiment in the US having fallen to levels often associated with share market lows … the month of October is known for seeing shares start to turn back up ahead of a rally into year-end,” he said.

“The fall in share markets has seen shares move well into cheap territory (with the forward PE on Australian shares at around 13.7 times being well below its long-term average) and lower bond yields also adding to the relative cheapness of shares,” Mr Oliver said.

Written by Scott Hodder for the InvestorDaily.

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