Markets have "over-reacted" to fears of US quantitative easing slowing down: DBS

The tumble in global stock markets amid hints of a slowdown in the United States' bond-buying programme has been an "over-reaction", said Mr Lim Say Boon, chief investment officer for group wealth management at DBS Bank on Monday.

He noted that the timing for the Federal Reserve to start slowing down its money printing still depends on US economic data, which "continues to be patchy", and that the Fed is still far from raising its policy interest rate.

In response to the global financial crisis, the Fed set its policy rate close to zero, and embarked on a massive buying spree of bonds and other assets, known as quantitative easing, to kick-start the moribund US economy.

The Fed hinted on May 22 that the printing presses could soon slow down. However, interest rates are expected to continue to remain very low.

"A tapering of quantitative easing is akin to easing off the foot from the accelerator pedal, if I can use a driving analogy," said Mr Lim in a briefing on Monday.

Depressing the foot on the brake pedal in this case would equate monetary tightening, when interest rates start to go up.

So while the money-printing may soon slow down, "it is not analogous to depressing the foot on the brake pedal" as rates will remain low, said Mr Lim.

He added that the market may be putting too much emphasis, or "overpricing", the timing of a rise in interest rates.

All these mean that valuations for US stocks "can push higher before the end of the bull market", said Mr Lim.

"US equities remain in the sweet spot with moderate growth and monetary accommodation."

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