Should investors fear no assets can protect them from increased turbulence in global markets amid November’s looming U.S. election and persistent worries around the COVID-19 pandemic?
That’s the concern addressed by JP Morgan strategists who warned that many traditional haven investments in September have not performed as advertised, providing scant shelter as global equities came under steady, but incessant pressure over the past few weeks.
“For those looking for hedge protection, this typical basket of defensives is functioning about as well as fire insurance that covers just one bedroom in the house,” said a JPMorgan team of analysts led by John Normand, in a note Friday.
By their estimation, the performance of haven assets this month has been the worst in more than 10 years, when looking at periods with more than a 5% decline of the MSCI All Country World Index
a widely used composite benchmark that tracks returns of a mix of equities from emerging market and developed markets.
The bank’s analysts said nearly all of the world’s typical safe havens, including U.S. government bonds, gold
and the Swiss franc
did not move much in September.
The analysts, however, did point out how a short position against emerging market currencies would have delivered positive gains during the turbulent period.
See: Investors debate whether currencies can replace role of bonds in a zero interest-rate world
While the Nasdaq Composite
saw a correction, commonly defined as a 10% drop from a recent peak, earlier this month, the 10-year Treasury yield BX:TMUBMUSD10Y largely stayed within a narrow trading band between 0.70% and 0.60%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.
Typically, haven sectors rally when a selloff has been sparked in stocks or