Be cautious equities while China, Fed, oil outlook is cloudy, Credit Suisse says

Markets are 'heavily oversold' : Credit Suisse
Here's why Credit Suisse advises caution   

Markets are oversold but now is not the time to jump in, says John Woods, chief investment officer at Credit Suisse's Asia Pacific private bank and wealth management business.

In fact, the bank has advised clients to sell on rallies, at least until there is more clarity on China's growth trajectory, the Fed's hiking path and a bottom in oil prices.

"We are still quite cautious on the Fed, oil and China and until we get some level of stability, certainty and clarity in those areas, we are actually recommending clients to lighten up," Woods told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

"The reality is we haven't yet got a firm sense of a medium-term trough in China's growth outlook…Until we get some clarity over how that's going play through, the balance of risk is tilted to the downside."

Credit Suisse forecasts China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to come in at 6.5 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2017, which was "by no means indicative of a hard landing; a soft landing is much more likely," Woods said.


On the Federal Reserve, Woods said the market was still trying to ascertain the number of interest rate hikes to come this year, in order to take a view on fixed income assets.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse predicts further falls in oil prices, with bankruptcies and contraction in the shale oil sector still to come, particularly in the U.S.

Wood said the bank needed to see "a lot more disruption in supply" before it could be confident oil prices were stabilizing. Prices have fallen by 70 percent since the summer of 2014 due to a global energy supply surplus.


U.S. WTI crude oil is down over 1 percent around $29.50 a barrel while European Brent crude is also down over 1 percent around $32 a barrel in Asian trade on Wednesday.

"Until we get some clarity in those three drivers [China growth, the Fed, oil prices] at a global level, we are neutral on equities and where we see, for example, in China the likelihood of some further volatility; if we see a technical rally, if we see a bull rally coming from these very low levels, we suggest clients explore the opportunity of lightening their exposure going into it," Woods said.

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