March 4, 2020 / 5:06 PM / a month ago

Asset manager PineBridge buys China A-shares, cuts back on U.S. services stocks

LONDON (Reuters) - PineBridge Investments is buying Chinese shares and ditching stocks exposed to the U.S. services sector following a sharp global equity sell-off over the spread of the coronavirus, the firm’s global head of multi-asset said on Wednesday.

China A-shares - stocks of mainland China-based firms that are traded on the Shanghai and the Shenzen Stock Exchange - have come under pressure in recent weeks after the spread of the disease triggered weeks of factory shutdowns and disruptions, leading to a record contraction in manufacturing activity last month. The Shanghai Shenzen CSI 300 equity index .CSI300 fell more than 2% in January and 1.6% in February.

Some asset managers are expecting that the worst is over for China’s factories though expect pressure to be felt elsewhere.

“We are pivoting to sort of buying back into China A-shares, copper and shifting the pendulum to the manufacturing direction and taking it out of things like U.S. services,” PineBridge’s Michael Kelly told Reuters.

Commodity markets have been hammered as well, with crude oil futures down more than 20% LCOc1 CLc1 and copper CMCU3 having fallen more than 8% over the same period.

“Commodities have been terrible due to China’s draw will be less bad and that is an exciting investment these days if it is ‘less bad’,” he added, declining to elaborate.

PineBridge had $101 billion under management at the end of 2019.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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