Choice Choice Choice

Saxo client pulse aligned with general market uncertainty

Søren Otto Simonsen

Senior Investment Editor

Asking our clients how they expect financial markets to fare in Q2 is a good sign of the general adversity observed in markets this year. The year began with discussions of rate cuts and a potential recession that has not yet come true, making 2024 difficult to predict.

“Investors, including Saxo clients, came positively into 2024 after a strong 2023 in which a recession was avoided and great returns were delivered in equities. This position has been rewarded so far in 2024 despite unusual volatility in expectations around central bank policy rates and inflation,” says Peter Garnry, head of SaxoStrats.

US will outperform; Europe to disappoint

Asking our clients how they think the major US S&P 500 index will perform, just above half believe it’ll increase, while almost three out of ten believe it’ll decrease. This hints that a rather large share of retail investors is worried that the good times will not continue and given that US equity valuations are back to dot-com bubble levels we share some of this concern with our clients. However, so far the Q1 earnings season has supported US equities and put the concerns aside.

Half of the respondents see the North American region outperform the other financial regions, while 12% believe it’ll be the worst performing, underlining the little collective conviction. Four out of ten believe Europe will be the worst performing region.

The regional expectations reflect herd mentality and that retail investors are buying into momentum. There is nothing wrong with this as momentum historically has proven to be a good risk premium to earn for investors, but it also makes Saxo clients sensitive to a changing world, and especially if the American exceptionalism ends. In our Q2 Outlook, we moved US equities from positive to neutral because of equity valuation concerns and moved European equities tactically to positive. It is clear we have not convinced clients yet to adopt a more positive view on Europe which is still facing a brutal war on its continent.

Central bank policy will be the deciding factor

The reason for the collective doubt about what will happen on financial markets in this quarter may be found in  our clients’ answers to  “Which [macro-economic events]] do you think will affect your investment strategy in the coming quarter. Here central bank policy seems to be most important, while both geopolitical tensions, the US election, and recession scares play a role for at least one out of four respondents.

“With interest rate cuts continue to be postponed, geopolitical tensions still high, and the US election gets closer, there is a lot of room for increased volatility in financial markets that merits that clients review whether their portfolios are set up for a turbulent quarter and beyond,” says Garnry.

About the survey:

The purpose of the Client Sentiment Survey was to gain insights into the expectations of Saxo’s clients for the upcoming quarter.
The survey was distributed to Saxo clients  between 12/03/2024-02/04/2024. The survey consisted of 185 respondents.
The survey was executed in English and sent to potential respondents globally who have selected English as their preferred communications language.

The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
- Full disclaimer (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo or its affiliates.

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited
19th Floor
Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
12 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

Contact Saxo

Select region

Hong Kong S.A.R
Hong Kong S.A.R

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited (“Saxo”) is a company authorised and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Saxo holds a Type 1 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Securities); Type 2 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Futures Contract); Type 3 Regulated Activity (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading); Type 4 Regulated Activity (Advising on Securities) and Type 9 Regulated Activity (Asset Management) licenses (CE No. AVD061). Registered address: 19th Floor, Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, 12 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. Please click here to view the relevant risk disclosure statements.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

The information or the products and services referred to on this site may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and services offered on this website are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity residing in the United States and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.