UK equities are one of the few regions that have shielded investors from the deteriorating macroeconomic and geopolitical backdrop so far this year. The key reasons behind the outperformance relative to other markets include fit-for-purpose sector composition, appealing valuation metrics and lower dependence on Russian resources compared to continental Europe. We expect these tailwinds to persist.
The tailwinds for UK equities remain intact and should help to drive performance in the short to medium term. In addition, the GBP has weakened against the USD from 1.35 at the start of the year to 1.26 as of 25 May1, providing an additional boost to exporters and global companies included in the UK FTSE ALL-Share Index.
Figure 1: UK Equity Performance (GBP) vs. MSCI World (USD)
Sector split tailored to answer challenges of today
The most important reason for the relative performance of UK equities is the sector and industry composition, which is well suited for the current environment.
One of the challenges equity markets have faced is a combination of rising yields and a flattening curve –the latter particularly present in the US. However, Financial companies in the UK, which account for 22% of the index, are well positioned in that regard as in addition to yield expansion, the UK curve is relatively steep, allowing to translate rising yields into improved net interest margins.
Investors also face the challenge of elevated commodity prices, which are one of the key drivers of inflation. We believe that, among core equity exposure, UK equities are the most suitable to play this theme. Energy, which is the most evident beneficiary of rising oil prices, accounts for 10% of the UK index3, which is more than double the share in global developed equities.
The other sector that benefits from high commodity prices is materials. However, it is not applicable to the whole sector but more to mining companies. In that regard, the UK FTSE All Share Index offers compelling exposure to general mining companies, which account for 7% of the index while their share in MSCI World is less than 1%4.
The significant presence of defensive consumer staples (15% of the index) and health care (12%) sectors provide necessary defensiveness against global economic slowdown. Finally, the consumer discretionary sector (11%) includes little to exposure to automobiles and parts, thus allowing investors to avoid some of the consequences of sanctions against Russia.
Figure 2: FTSE All-Share Index ICB Industry Breakdown
Can the relative outperformance last or are the tailwinds already priced in?
An important question to ask is whether UK equity outperformance can continue. We believe it can and continue to see a strong investment case, especially on a relative basis as the backdrop has not changed. Inflation is not abating with UK 9% CPI reported in April, elevated commodity prices persist, GBP depreciated against the USD and the UK yield curve remains steep, with at least four 25bps rate hikes priced in. Importantly, despite the year-to-date relative outperformance, UK equity valuations remain extremely undemanding compared to broader developed world equities, which implies that the tailwinds we noted may not be fully priced in. Indeed, an appealing 12-month forward earnings yield of 9.5%5 can provide level of protection against both monetary tightening and potential economic slowdown.
Figure 3: UK Equity 12-Month Forward P/E Relative to MSCI World
How to access this theme
Investors looking to play the UK equity theme can do so with SPDR ETFs. To learn more about these ETFs, and to view full performance histories, please click on the links below to visit their fund pages.
1Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P., as of 25 May 2022.
2Source: Ftserussell.com, as of 29 April 2022.
3Source: Ftserussell.com and MSCI.com, as of 29 April 2022.
4Source: FactSet, as of 29 April 2022 based on ICB subsector classification.
5Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P., as of 25 May 2022.
Information Classification: General Access.
For professional clients use only.
For Investors in Austria: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Company has been notified to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in accordance with section 139 of the Austrian Investment Funds Act. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales Prospectus, the articles of incorporation, the KIID as well as the latest annual and semi-annual report free of charge from State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, Branch in Germany, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich. T: +49 (0)89-55878-400.F: +49 (0)89-55878-440.
For Investors in Finland: The offering of funds by the Companies has been notified to the Financial Supervision Authority in accordance with Section 127 of the Act on Common Funds (29.1.1999/48) and by virtue of confirmation from the Financial Supervision Authority the Companies may publicly distribute their Shares in Finland. Certain information and documents that the Companies must publish in Ireland pursuant to applicable Irish law are translated into Finnish and are available for Finnish investors by contacting State Street Custodial Services (Ireland) Limited, 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland.
For Investors in France: This document does not constitute an offer or request to purchase shares in the Company. Any subscription for shares shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the complete Prospectus, the KIID, the addenda as well as the Company Supplements. These documents are available from the Company centralizing correspondent: State Street Banque S.A., Coeur Défense - Tour A - La Défense 4 33e étage 100, Esplanade du Général de Gaulle 92 931 Paris La Défense cedex France or on the French part of the site ssga.com/etfs. The Company is an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) governed by Irish law and accredited by the Central Bank of Ireland as a UCITS in accordance with European Regulations. European Directive no. 2014/91/EU dated 23 July 2014 on UCITS, as amended, established common rules pursuant to the cross-border marketing of UCITS with which they duly comply. This common base does not exclude differentiated implementation. This is why a European UCITS can be sold in France even though its activity does not comply with rules identical to those governing the approval of this type of product in France.The offering of these compartments has been notified to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) in accordance with article L214-2-2 of the French Monetary and Financial Code.
For Investors in Germany: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Companies has been notified to the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) in accordance with section 312 of the German Investment Act. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales Prospectuses, the articles of incorporation, the KIIDs as well as the latest annual and semi-annual report free of charge from State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, Branch in Germany, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich. Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-400. Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440.
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Accordingly, the Securities shall only be sold in Israel to an investor of the type listed in the First Schedule to the Israeli Securities Law, 1978, which has confirmed in writing that it falls within one of the categories listed therein (accompanied by external confirmation where this is required under ISA guidelines), that it is aware of the implications of being considered such an investor and consents thereto, and further that the Securities are being purchased for its own account and not for the purpose of re-sale or distribution.
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For Investors in Luxemburg: The Companies have been notified to the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier in Luxembourg in order to market its shares for sale to the public in Luxembourg and the Companies are notified Undertakings in Collective Investment for Transferable Securities (UCITS).
Netherlands: This communication is directed at qualified investors within the meaning of Section 2:72 of the Dutch Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht) as amended. The products and services to which this communication relates are only available to such persons and persons of any other description should not rely on this communication. Distribution of this document does not trigger a licence requirement for the Companies or SSGA in the Netherlands and consequently no prudential and conduct of business supervision will be exercised over the Companies or SSGA by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank N.V.) and the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (Stichting Autoriteit Financiële Markten). The Companies have completed their notification to the Authority Financial Markets in the Netherlands in order to market their shares for sale to the public in the Netherlands and the Companies are, accordingly, investment institutions (beleggingsinstellingen) according to Section 2:72 Dutch Financial Markets Supervision Act of Investment Institutions.
Norway: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Companies has been notified to the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet) in accordance with applicable Norwegian Securities Funds legislation. By virtue of a confirmation letter from the Financial Supervisory Authority dated 28 March 2013 (16 October 2013 for umbrella II) the Companies may market and sell their shares in Norway.
For Investors in Spain: State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I and II plc have been authorised for public distribution in Spain and are registered with the Spanish Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) under no.1244 and no.1242. Before investing, investors may obtain a copy of the Prospectus and Key Investor Information Documents, the Marketing Memoranda, the fund rules or instruments of incorporation as well as the annual and semi-annual reports of State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I and II plc from Cecabank, S.A. Alcalá 27, 28014 Madrid (Spain) who is the Spanish Representative, Paying Agent and distributor in Spain or at ssga.com/etfs. The authorised Spanish distributor of State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs is available on the website of the Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores).
Switzerland: The collective investment schemes referred to herein are collective investment schemes under Irish law. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales prospectus, the articles of incorporation, the KIID as well as the latest annual and semi-annual reports free of charge from the Swiss Representative and Paying Agent, State Street Bank International GmbH, Munich, Zurich Branch, Beethovenstr. 19, 8027 Zurich, as well as from the main distributor in Switzerland, State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich. Before investing please read the prospectus and the KIID, copies of which can be obtained from the Swiss representative, or at ssga.com/etfs.
United Kingdom: The Funds have been registered for distribution in the UK pursuant to the UK’s temporary permissions regime under regulation 62 of the Collective Investment Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The Funds are directed at 'professional clients' in the UK (as defined in rules made under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) who are deemed both knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to investments. The products and services to which this communication relates are only available to such persons and persons of any other description should not rely on this communication. Many of the protections provided by the UK regulatory system do not apply to the operation of the Funds, and compensation will not be available under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
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The information provided does not constitute investment advice as such term is defined under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) or applicable Swiss regulation and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any investment. It does not take into account any investor's or potential investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status, risk appetite or investment horizon. If you require investment advice you should consult your tax and financial or other professional advisor.
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Informazioni relative al Messico
Le presenti informazioni non costituiscono e non sono da intendersi come la commercializzazione o l’offerta di titoli e, di conseguenza, non dovrebbero essere interpretate come tali. I Fondi indicati nella presente non sono stati e non saranno registrati ai sensi della legge messicana sul mercato dei valori mobiliari (Ley del Mercado de Valores) e non potranno essere oggetto di offerta pubblica o essere venduti negli Stati Messicani Uniti. La documentazione divulgativa relativa a uno qualsiasi dei suddetti Fondi non può essere distribuita pubblicamente in Messico e le azioni dei Fondi non possono essere scambiate in questo paese.
Si consiglia di procurarsi e leggere i Prospetti e i KIID relativi agli SPDR ETFs prima dell'investimento. Ulteriori informazioni e i prospetti aggiornati/KIID che descrivono le caratteristiche, i costi e i rischi degli SPDR ETFs sono disponibili per i residenti dei Paesi in cui gli SPDR ETFs sono autorizzati alla vendita sul sito spdrs.com o presso l'ufficio di SSGA locale.