Credit Suisse predicts Australian equities to lift 20% this year

Despite one of the worst starts to the year for Australian equity markets in history, one famous money manager has adopted a contrarian position to suggest that lower prices mean Australian shares now represent a massive buying opportunity.

Why could the ASX be set to see a huge rally this year?

The Australian newspaper is today reporting that Credit Suisse analyst Hassan Tevfik thinks: “As of yesterday’s close Aussie investors should expect total returns of more than 20% by year end”.

Much of this contrarian belief is based around the idea that the weighting of commodity stocks in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) index of leading shares is falling, as commodity companies lose market value and gradually disappear from the index.

According to Credit Suisse, there were 64 mining stocks in the index in 2011 and now there are just 28. This de-weighting of the index in commodity stocks will apparently help set the index free to spring higher in 2016.

Credit Suisse also apparently expects the bull market for other Aussie equities to continue in 2016, although The Australian does not provide much in the way of reasoning for the analyst’s bullish outlook.

Industrials and financials are described as strong past performers and presumably would have to be so again, with some of the best industrials like SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK), REA Group Limited (ASX: REA), or Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC) offering offshore exposure and strong business models.

Among the financials, Credit Suisse is presumably betting on the big banks like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) doing much of the heavy lifting on the back of another strong year of lending growth and reasonable net interest margins.

Other areas of the local economy generally tipped to improve in 2016 are those with exposure to a lower dollar, particularly in the services sectors like tourism, IT, and education for example. While aged care, agriculture, food exports, digital technology, and general healthcare could also continue to post growth.

No doubt many investors will hope Credit Suisse is on the money, although after a start to the year that included evidence of a slowdown in China and plunging commodity prices many will be sceptical.

In reality shares prices will follow earnings higher or lower, which means February’s upcoming earnings season will provide investors the first hard insights at to the likelihood of a lift towards 6000 points in the year ahead.

Motley Fool Pro is now open to new members

Our most comprehensive and innovative ASX investment service -- has reopened for a brief time, to accept new members. That means you've got the chance to follow along as one top investor puts $1,000,000 of The Motley Fool's own money to work...all in ASX stocks. But to get YOUR front-row seat, you must act NOW. (Please note: just 1,000 new member seats are available.)

Click here to claim YOUR invite!

Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of REA Group Limited.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.