‘I think there is a slight disconnect between the real economy and the financial markets… We could be in for some turbulence this fall as things unfold, and whether or not the coronavirus pandemic recedes, or gains some force.’
That’s Trond Grande, deputy CEO of Norway’s $1.15-trillion wealth fund, sharing his outlook with Reuters after he presented the fund’s brutal half-year results, which showed a $21 billion loss.
Grande added that the coronavirus pandemic is not under control “in any shape or form” and it will remain the biggest issue for investors worldwide going forward.
The coronavirus was certainly a big issue for his Oslo-based fund for much of the year, considering the record loss of $153 billion in the first quarter. The fund has rebounded since then but, as the results show, it’s still firmly in the red year to date.
“We have already seen some sort of V-shaped recovery in the financial markets,” Grande said, cautioning that government support for economies can’t last forever.
For some perspective on the size of the fund, it currently holds shares in some 9,200 companies around the world, which somes to 1.5% of all listed stocks, Reuters reported. The government fund’s overall value is equivalent to about $214,000 for every single person in Norway.
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Oil companies were to blame for much of the fund’s struggles, with their stocks declining by 33.1% amid plunging oil prices. On the flip side, technology firms, led by Amazon
, mitigated the damage.
“All markets, and some more than others, have had a quick recovery,” Grande was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying. “So it might look more like a V. But the unrest isn’t over. The pandemic isn’t under control yet, and we don’t know yet if it’s a V or a W.”
The U.S. stock market has certainly recovered nicely as it continues to bounce around record highs. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was slightly lower, while both the Nasdaq Composite
and S&P 500
were in the green.