It’s no secret that retail and travel share prices have been among the hardest hit from the COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
When people are ordered to stay home or even just told to maintain social distancing, brick and mortar retailers see their revenues crumble. This in turn puts their landlords under pressure when rents are reduced or simply not paid.
Take Scentre Group (ASX: SCG), for example, which owns and operates retail properties across Australia and New Zealand. The Scentre share price crashed more than 68% during the first 2 months of the COVID outbreak. It’s bounced back strongly since then, but the Scentre share price still remains down 45% year to date.
Airlines, airports and the companies that arrange domestic and international travel have suffered the same fate.
With Australia’s international borders effectively closed and domestic travel hugely reduced, it’s no surprise that the Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price has been hammered as well, falling more than 78% following the coronavirus outbreak.
The Flight Centre share price has also rebounded strongly since then. But it still remains down 68% since 2 January.
What Westpac’s consumer sentiment report revealed
Atop a noticeable rise in consumer confidence, Westpac revealed that:
[Household] preferences have not moved to the ‘riskier’ investments like shares and property (property down from 11.9% to 9.9%; and shares steady around 9%). Rather the shift in preferences, over the year, has been to bank deposits with 32.7% favouring bank deposits compared to 26.7%. The conclusion remains that Australians continue to hold extremely risk averse preferences for their savings.
The trigger that many retail investors are waiting for before parting with the security provided by their cash holdings is either the elimination or effective control of the coronavirus.
When that happens it’s some of the most beaten down shares that could benefit the most.
And the Flight Centre share price along with the Scentre share price could prove to be among the bigger winners. That’s because not only are Australian households holding more cash to invest in the share market, but they’ll be eager to spend that cash on travel and shopping out in real stores once they’re allowed to again.
These 3 stocks could be the next big movers in 2021
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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.
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