(Bloomberg) -- European stocks have been on a tear over the past month, signaling investor optimism returning to the market. Not so fast, say strategists.
They predict losses of more than 4% in both the Stoxx Europe 600 Index and the Euro Stoxx 50 Index of the region’s biggest companies by the end of the year, according to the average response in a Bloomberg poll. European equities have rebounded strongly since mid-August as trade war tensions eased and the region’s central bank boosted stimulus, with the Stoxx 600 within reach of a one-year high reached in July.
They may give up some of those gains in the coming months, if the forecasts prove correct. The Stoxx 600 will close out the year at a level of 374, or 4.4% below Thursday’s close, and the Euro Stoxx 50 will end 2019 at 3,391, implying a 4.5% drop, according to the average prediction in a Bloomberg poll of strategists.
While some risks have receded, others linger. The economic backdrop, particularly in Europe, remains a cause for concern. Domestic demand is weakening in Germany, with global trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty also weighing on Europe’s largest economy, the country’s finance ministry said on Thursday. And the OECD this week lowered its global growth forecast and warned that a no-deal exit from the European Union would push the U.K. into a recession.
For the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index, which has lagged European peers this year under a Brexit cloud, there may be more woes in store. Strategists on average see the gauge dropping to 7,114 by end-2019, or a 3.3% decline from Thursday’s close. Germany’s DAX Index will fall to 11,936, 4.2% below its last close, the poll shows.
To view strategists’ forecasts on the Stoxx 600 and the Euro Stoxx 50, click hereFor predictions on the DAX, click here, and here for those on the FTSE 100
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