Renewed Covid outbreak in Asia is not a big worry, says Citi strategist

The renewed rise in Covid-19 cases across Asia is not a big worry and the region’s economy will get back on track when the outbreak eases, said an investment strategist from Citi Private Bank.

Against such a backdrop, investors could go after “Covid-impaired” stocks such as airlines and other companies in the travel and leisure sector, said Ken Peng, the bank’s head of Asia investment strategy.

Peng told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Tuesday that Asia is not experiencing a resurgence in Covid for the first time.

“That’s a movie we’ve seen before,” he said.

A security guard walks past a wall mural depicting people from various religions thanking frontline Covid-19 coronavirus warriors, in Mumbai on January 13, 2021.

Indranil Mukherjee | AFP | Getty Images

“It happened in the winter (that) just passed and it also happened last third quarter when we had these waves, and then once the cases come down, you see the economic recovery back on track. So I think that’s not something we need to worry about too extensively,” he added.

Asian economies from Nepal to Malaysia and Taiwan have reported record daily increases in Covid infections in the last few weeks, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Over in India, which has the world’s second-worst outbreak, daily cases have remained elevated although trending lower from record-high levels in early May, the data showed.

China tech, commodities

In addition to sectors that have been hit hard in the pandemic, Peng said he sees opportunities to buy Chinese tech stocks on the dip. He added that the share prices of some of those stocks have declined as a result of regulatory scrutiny.

The strategist also said he’s “very positive” on the commodities space, with demand from China, the U.S. and Europe likely staying resilient.

“These countries that are closer to herd immunity are likely to continue to see commodity demand rising. So I think as the global recovery continues, we shouldn’t worry too much about commodities at the moment,” said Peng.

(With Inputs from cnbc)

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