Goldman Says `Sell in May' Risk for Emerging Markets Is Limited

(Bloomberg) -- Emerging markets aren’t going to face the headwinds they typically do in May and June this year as stronger U.S. growth helps the global economy, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“Our base case is one in which EM (and global) growth continues to improve, which we think will lead to additional upside,” strategists Ron Gray and Caesar Maasry wrote in a note dated April 25. “But given that the strong year-to-date rally has fallen in line with historical patterns, we think it is important to be aware of the trend that has created the statement ‘Sell in May and go away.”’

Goldman Says `Sell in May' Risk for Emerging Markets Is Limited

Emerging-market assets from equities and currencies to local bonds and credit tend to have positive returns in the first four months of the year, before flipping to negative performance in May and June, the strategists wrote. Currencies get particularly badly hit in the second quarter, the analysis showed.

Developing-nation stocks have advanced this year, with the MSCI EM Index up 11 percent -- but that trails the MSCI All-County World Index’s 14 percent advance. And much of that has come from China, with other markets lagging behind.

Still, Goldman sees U.S. growth coming around to help mitigate seasonal trouble.

“Growth tends to accelerate on a sequential basis from Q4 to Q1 and decelerate from Q1 to Q2,” the strategists wrote. “That said, we are looking for a broad uptick in global growth in the second quarter, led principally by stronger U.S. growth, which we believe should moderate the negative seasonality that we have seen in Q2s in years past.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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