Taper effects on emerging markets: Godfrey
A potential reduction in the Federal Reserve's $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program might not affect emerging markets as much as many investors might expect, Gemma Godfrey of Brooks Macdonald Asset Management said Thursday.
"First of all, if we look at the fixed-income markets, they're starting to understand that we're talking about a tapering in terms of a wind-down and not a withdrawal, which means the markets are pricing in for rates to be lower for longer," she said.
"And we're less likely to see a spike in bond yields. And what this means is that the Fed will be more confident that it's less likely to impact growth or restrict emerging-market access to capital for investing in infrastructure."
Godfrey, who oversees $5.3 billion in assets as head of investment strategy at Brooks Macdonald, said emerging markets were actually slightly more protected because of it.
On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Godfrey added that EM equities were also potentially less volatile than they might appear because "a lot of the hot money has already left the markets because of the last time the markets got spooked that the Fed was about to taper."
Many susceptible economies, such as Indonesia, have already experienced a "significant withdrawal" of investment capital, she added.
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"What we would say is, is that the emerging markets that are struggling with deficits are going to be laggards, so that's the likes of Turkey, etc.," Godfrey said. "Also, markets like Brazil, where there's a lack of a catalyst, could also lag like the markets. "
"They're opening up for business," she said. "So there's going to be a lot of positive news flow coming out of an area that's significantly underperformed so far."
For the U.S. equity and bond markets, Godfrey wasn't a steadfast believer in an upcoming "Santa Claus rally."
"It's very hard to underestimate either the will for markets to grind higher or for investors to close out their positions and try and lock in substantial profits that they've earned toward the end of the year," she said. "So, they're going to be more susceptible to news flow and to reacting far heavier to news flow because obviously investors have already closed out and volumes may be lower. But in terms of the Fed tapering, it's looking more likely in terms of there being less of an effect in fixed income."
However, Godfrey points out that the fourth quarter could see restrained spending because of inventory buildup from the previous quarter.
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"With that lack of clarity, the Fed's more likely to wait and actually see what the data's actually going to look like in that respect, as well," she said. "We need more clarity, and investors may decide instead to lock in those profits and put their books to bed."