DoubleLine's Gundlach bullish on Asian emerging market stocks, neutral on bitcoin

FILE PHOTO: Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital LP, presents during the 2019 Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jeffrey Gundlach, the billionaire chief executive of investment firm DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday he is bullish on Asian emerging market stocks and neutral on bitcoin given the volatility of the cryptocurrency.

Gundlach, whose Los Angeles-based firm manages more than $140 billion in assets, said valuations across financial markets appear stretched given massive amounts of global economic stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We remain mired in a house of mirrors,” Gundlach said on a webcast.

In a wide-ranging presentation, he noted that some long-term market trends may be stalling, such as the outperformance of U.S. equities versus the rest of the world and large-cap U.S. equities rallying more than small-caps.

At the same time, he predicted that the United States may experience additional rounds of layoffs focused on middle-management as companies make some work from home policies permanent given worker preferences.

The U.S. economy shed jobs for the first time in eight months in December, with the majority of job losses coming in sectors such as hospitality and leisure that remain battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Asian emerging market stocks have rallied at the start of the year, with South Korean shares up nearly 10% and China’s CSI 300 index up 7.4%. The U.S. benchmark S&P 500, by comparison, is up 1.2% over the same time.

Gundlach noted that he has shifted his outlook for bitcoin to neutral from overweight. The cryptocurrency dropped more than 11% on Monday and remains 15% below the all-time high it hit on Jan. 9.

“This looks like a dangerous market with this type of volatility,” Gundlach said. “I don’t like having to worry that I’m going to lose 20 percent in an hour.”

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