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Navigating Turbulent Waters: Luxury Stock Gamble Falters Amidst Inflation and China Dilemmas

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Europe’s Luxury Sector Faces Challenges: Bloomberg News

Europe’s Luxury Sector Faces Challenges: Bloomberg News


Problems are stacking up for Europe’s hottest sector. A warning from the chairman of Cartier-owner Richemont that stubborn inflation was starting to affect demand in Europe prompted a swoon in luxury stocks last week. That downbeat message added to a string of worrying economic signals from China and signs of softer trends in the US.

Impact on Investors

  • Investors are losing faith in the luxury sector, with $180 billion wiped out since July.
  • LVMH accounted for about 60% of the slump alone.
  • A stuttering recovery in China has dealt a significant blow to the sector.
  • High-end shopping districts in Paris, Madrid, and London are also experiencing softer trends.

Expert Opinions

Gilles Guibout, a portfolio manager at Axa Investment Managers, believes that ongoing inflation and evidence of a slowdown are hurting luxury stocks in Europe. He has an underweight position on luxury and plans to buy stocks only after a further pullback.

China’s Impact

The latest survey of China’s services industries revealed negative data for luxury names. The slowest expansion this year in August suggests that Chinese consumers are not optimistic about their future income due to the faltering economy.

Bond Yields

Soaring bond yields have also affected luxury companies that rely heavily on capital for expansion. Benchmark US Treasury yields hit the highest level since 2007 in August, dealing a further blow to sentiment on luxury stocks.

Impact on CEO Wealth

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault’s wealth has dropped significantly due to the slump in luxury stocks. However, he has continued purchasing shares in LVMH, showing confidence in the company.

Valuations and Expectations

  • The MSCI Europe Textiles Apparel & Luxury Goods Index trades at 24 times projected earnings.
  • Some investors believe that analyst projections for luxury companies are overoptimistic.

Warnings and Technical Analysis

HSBC analysts cautioned that third-quarter results in luxury are likely to be “soft” due to constraints around flight capacity and visas limiting tourist numbers. Technical analysts also suggest a potential downside risk for luxury stocks.

Analyst Projections

Despite concerns, analyst price targets still imply gains for luxury stocks over the next year.


While some investors are taking profits, experts believe that it is more of a tactical move rather than a broad change in trend for the luxury sector.

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