Equity positioning is now at six-month high - Deutsche Bank

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Equity positioning is now at six-month high - Deutsche Bank
Credit: © Reuters.

Aggregate equity positioning reached a six-month high last week, according to Deutsche Bank strategists.

This surge came after a period of relatively stable levels since December. The recent movement in equity positioning was mainly driven by discretionary investors, who have significantly ramped up their involvement, pushing their positioning into the top quintile.

“Positioning while clearly elevated is not yet extreme,” analysts said.

Meanwhile, systematic strategies, which often involve algorithm-based trading, have also been increasing their positions at a steady pace. In terms of volatility control funds, there's been a modest uptick in equity exposure, now just above the 70% mark, approaching historical maximums.

Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), known for their trend-following strategies, have shown a mixed response; while their overall allocations to equities fell this week, they remain slightly above the historical average. This is primarily due to a decrease in European equity allocation, offset by slight increases in allocations to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 .

The technology sector, in particular, has seen a notable rise in positioning, now standing in the 73rd percentile, making it the only sector significantly above its historical average.

In the options market, there's been a sharp increase in total net call volume, reaching the 84th percentile. This rise has been especially pronounced in single stocks, with the most notable increases observed in cyclicals, mega-cap growth, and technology stocks.

Lastly, the Deutsche Bank’s report highlighted substantial inflows into equity funds, which totaled over $18 billion last week. The U.S. market experienced strong inflows of over $5 billion, but an even more remarkable movement was seen in China, where funds received an unusually large inflow of $12 billion, marking the largest such influx in almost nine years.

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