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The big picture – contain and heal

2020 was quite a year. The coronavirus pandemic was an exogenous shock to the system and the impact on the global economy was enormous. However, the economic recovery is now underway and this year will be about containing and healing the crisis.

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The recovery
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic was huge, but the recovery was faster than in other crises because unlike in previous recessions, the financial system today is healthy. However, the speed of the recovery will vary across countries depending on how much policymakers can maintain fiscal spending.

Investment opportunities
For investors, we see a number of attractive opportunities for 2021. In equities, we stick to our positive view on information technology, healthcare (including digital health) and life sciences. We also believe that the small-cap segment should perform well as relative valuations reached record lows at the end of 2020.

Within fixed income, we think that from a risk-reward perspective, crossover debt (i.e. bonds with BBB or BB rating) is attractive. We would also highlight EUR peripheral government debt as well as emerging market hard-currency bonds.

Turning to currencies, we see an end to the US dollar bull market and favour the low-yielding currencies of Europe and Japan as well as the more rewarding one of China.

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