Why the ASX 200 is primed to soar another 8% in 2024

This leading asset manager sees the stars aligning for the ASX 200 to soar into 2025.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is enjoying a second consecutive day of gains on Tuesday.

In early morning trade today, the benchmark Aussie index is up 0.5% at 7,686.1 points.

This follows a strong rebound yesterday, which saw the ASX 200 close up 1.1%.

The market has been on somewhat of a wild ride over the past few weeks amid worsening global tensions and concerns that sticky inflation could delay central banks' plans for interest rate cuts.

These fears combined to help drive global markets lower last week, with the ASX 200 closing Friday at two-month lows.

This was somewhat of a reverse scenario to what investors experienced in March and into the first trading days of April. That saw the index of the biggest 200 listed Aussie companies hit a series of new record intraday and closing highs.

The last intraday all-time high was set on 2 April, when the index closed at 7,910.7 points.

Since then the market has retraced 2.8%. Though this week the buyers have clearly returned.

And in what could prove to be very good news for investors, VanEck forecasts the market will blast past its 2 April record and reach 8,300 points by the end of 2024. That's 8.0% above current levels.

Here's why.

ASX 200 poised for a big 2024 rally

As The Australian Financial Review reports, Vaneck portfolio manager Cameron McCormack believes the stock market rally will be, in part, driven by real estate investment trusts (REITs), amid an improving outlook for interest rates and valuations.

McCormack is also bullish on the outlook for ASX 200 retail stocks. He forecasts the so-called soft landing for the Aussie economy will help boost already soaring stocks like Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), JB Hi-Fi Ltd (ASX: JBH) and Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL).

"The sector reported strong net beats during the February earnings season, and we anticipate this to continue," MacCormack said.

And he believes investors can expect some of the best performance from ASX mid-cap stocks.

According to McCormack (quoted by the AFR):

Valuations are attractive, with 12-month forward price to earnings below the historical average. Mid-caps also reported the highest upside price target revisions during the February earnings season.

Not all stocks will join the surge

While he believes the broader index is set for 8% gains this year, McCormack said not all stocks will join in the expected rally.

For example, he said the big four ASX 200 bank stocks Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) are "vulnerable to a correction".

"The market seems to be pricing a dream scenario for the banks, despite the risks of a flare-up in mortgage stress in a prolonged higher interest rate environment," he said.

As always, if you're unsure of which ASX 200 stocks to invest in reach out for some expert advice.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Super Retail Group and Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Jb Hi-Fi. 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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