Goldman Sachs’ Oppenheimer Bullish on European Stocks

Friday, 14 Dec 2012 09:21 AM

By Dan Weil

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European stocks are headed for gains next year, despite the region’s economic weakness, thanks to global central bank easing, low valuations and buoyant economic growth outside Europe, says Peter Oppenheimer, chief global equity strategist at Goldman Sachs.

He sees the STOXX Europe 600 Index producing a return of more than 7 percent in 2013.

The Index has climbed 14 percent this year before dividends, topping the 13 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

On the easing front, “as more liquidity comes into the global economy through central bank actions, and there is little value left in fixed-income markets, equities will benefit by default," Oppenheimer tells CNBC.

And Europe is where the bargains are, he says. "We think Europe will perform strongly because the valuations are still supportive, and despite the stagnation in the economy in the eurozone, we do expect profits to grow through next year."

Indeed, thanks to recovery in the global economy, “to which Europe's corporate sector is very well levered,” profits should rise 9 percent next year, Oppenheimer says.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is bullish on European stocks too. It sees their valuation relative to investment-grade bonds at the lowest level in 25 years.

“In 2013, we should see the areas of relatively cheap market risk like Europe and the emerging markets being the key performers,” says Bill O’Neill, chief investment officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to Bloomberg.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

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