Why AMP says share markets 'can continue to rally' in FY25

Market fundamentals look to be improving.

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Now that we've entered FY25, it's time to think about where the general direction of the market is heading. The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has drifted less than 2% into the green this year to date.

Meanwhile, AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP) shares have caught a bid this year and have held gains of 17.5%, despite trending lower since June.

The firm remains optimistic about the continued rally in share markets in FY25.

According to Dr Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist at AMP Investments, the past financial year saw robust returns for investors.

These were driven by falling inflation, central banks cutting rates, and better-than-expected economic conditions.

"There has been a wall of worry for investors over the last year, but as is often the case, share markets climbed it," Oliver noted.

Here's the outlook for ASX shares in FY25, according to the AMP economist.

AMP sees continued market optimism

AMP identifies several key themes influencing the Aussie markets going forward. Firstly, inflation has been on a downward trend globally, which has supported global market rallies. Australian inflation meanwhile has lagged, but is expected to follow trend, Oliver says.

Central bank policies are also playing a significant role. After slowing the pace of interest rate hikes, central banks worldwide – including in Europe and North America – have begun cutting rates, a trend that's expected to continue and support market performance.

AMP, therefore, expects more volatility in stocks but believes that markets will continue to rise amid improving economic data.

As Dr Oliver explains:

Central banks in Switzerland, Sweden, Canada and the Eurozone have now started to cut with the US and UK expected to start around September…

…Our base case is that share markets can continue to rally as more central banks join in cutting rates as inflation continues to fall towards central bank targets, including the Fed from around September and the RBA from around February enabling bond yields to fall and investors to focus on stronger growth in 2025. 

Also noting:

Our base case is for more constrained returns in the current financial year of 6-7% down from the 9% or so seen over the last year. However, the risk of another correction in shares is high and investors should allow for a more volatile ride than seen over the last year.

Global economic growth is also seen to be resilient, particularly in the US. This is despite regions like Europe and Japan "flirting with recession". Additionally, AI developments have boosted tech stocks, particularly in the US, contributing to the market's strength.

We saw this very early in the year and then once again around the end of the first quarter when large tech and artificial intelligence (AI) shares – such as NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) – reported bumper earnings.

Oliver says that despite these positive trends, geopolitical risks remain high. The war in Ukraine, tensions in the Middle East, and the upcoming elections in France and the US all pose potential threats.

Forecast for balanced growth super funds

AMP suggests balanced growth superannuation funds could also return around 6%-7% in the coming year. This is around 3 percentage points lower than the previous year.

This more conservative outlook considers the potential for market corrections and increased volatility.

Many investors hold shares like AMP in their super funds.

With short-term volatility, one might be tempted to hit the "sell" button on their brokerage accounts. Or, change investment strategy in their super.

But critically, Oliver – like all the investing greats: Buffet, Munger, Dalio, and so on – advises investors to maintain a long-term view and not be swayed by short-term market movements.

"The key is to adopt a long-term strategy and turn down the noise", Dr Oliver said.

"Short term forecasting and market timing is fraught with difficulty and it's best to stick to sound long term investment principles."

Motley Fool contributor Zach Bristow 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 Nvidia. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Nvidia. 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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