The U.S.-led war against Iraq hasnt changed the course of business at the $4.2 billion Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, said Kirk Stebbins, CIO. "You have to keep going; you cant change what you are doing because of this (war).
"Am I concerned about the market? Mr. Stebbins said. "Ive been concerned about the market for the last two or three years. History has thrown a number of things at us, and the market has managed to make it through, and it will probably make it through this, too.
In equity investments, the war has altered the short-term view of many industries that appeared to have been in limbo before the start of military action, said Brian Bruce, head of equity investments at PanAgora Asset Management. Now portfolio managers might consider travel and tourism stocks that they would have avoided previously. Also, portfolio managers may be forced to reduce energy exposure if oil prices decline.
Still, the war has diminished the appeal of Treasury securities as a safe haven, says Luke D. Knecht, managing director at Deerfield Capital Management. "The uncertainty that had driven bonds to 50-year lows has reversed itself, he said. Nonetheless, Mr. Knecht does not expect interest rates to rise significantly in the short term because the economy is still weak.