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Barclays Wealth Recommends Increasing Exposure to Laggard Sectors Including Consumer Staples, Pharmaceuticals and Telecoms
Date:1/19/2010

NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Barclays Wealth investment calls for this month include:

Increase Exposure to Non-Cyclical, Laggard Sectors; Maintain Exposure to US Small-Cap, Mid-Cap Equities

Now that the most dramatic phase of recovery is over, markets are moving into a new 'mid-cycle' phase, where returns are in 'normal' range and investors are paying more attention to valuations, particularly in the sectors overlooked in the initial "recovery/relief" phase.  

  • Raise exposure to non-cyclical equities – Consumer staples (particularly, food, beverage and tobacco), pharmaceuticals and telecoms – through sector ETFs or actively managed funds with a "Growth at a Reasonable Price" style.
  • Maintain exposure to the US small-cap and mid-cap sectors. We expect these stocks to make up for their atypically weak relative performance through the general market recovery to date.

Short Gold

We believe that gold is now significantly overvalued relative to fundamentals.

  • Investors should short gold in a way that limits possible losses as overvaluation may not correct immediately. Potential strategies include buying long-dated put options on one of the gold-based ETFs or a structured note.  

Seek to Benefit from a Gradual Renminbi Appreciation

The Chinese Renminbi (CNY) has been undervalued since the onset of the financial crisis, but looks set to appreciate in 2010.  Neighboring currencies also look cheap and should benefit from a stronger CNY.  

  • We recommend buying the South Korean Won (KRW), Indian rupee (INR), Indonesian rupiah (IDR), Singap
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SOURCE Barclays Wealth
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