UBS upgrades global equities' rating to 'neutral'

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich

(Reuters) - Economists at UBS have upgraded their rating for global equities, citing recent economic and inflation data coming in ahead of estimates and stronger-than-expected growth in the U.S. economy, with less likelihood of a recession.

The brokerage, which raised its rating on global equities to "neutral" from "least preferred" and gave preference to emerging markets over their U.S. counterparts, considers a recession in the U.S. as less likely.

It expects global earnings to be flat this year and rise by the mid-single digits globally next year.

"This profit cycle has been very different from previous ones. Rising inflation has supported nominal growth, while volumes have already been under pressure. As such, nominal earnings have held up much better than expected," UBS said.

The MSCI All Country stock index has risen 10.2% for the year after a 19.8% fall in 2022.

Among sectors, UBS moves its preference for Energy over Materials and shifts Communications to "neutral" from "least preferred".

The brokerage has kept the U.S. in its "least preferred" list, pointing to the region's high valuations despite earnings delivering positive surprises. However, it cut Australia to "neutral" as the earnings outlook has failed to improve, with next year's profit growth expected to be negative.

(Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Pooja Desai)