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In this series of three Postcards from his recent research trip to the US, Winston Chong, Deputy Portfolio Manager of Antares Ex-20 Australian Shares strategy, reveals his findings on trends in three sectors – Wine, Technology and Consumer. Antares is of the view that the macroeconomic environment in the US may be illustrative of what is to come in Australia, underpinning the value of on-the-ground insights for our stock selection and portfolios.

Postcard from Napa (Wine)

In his first postcard, Winston explores the strategic significance and the prospects for Treasury Wine Estates’ North American business. While cautious on the US consumer more generally, Winston notes that luxury remains one of the bright spots in the US economy.

Postcard from the San Francisco (Technology)

Productivity, efficiency and cost reduction were key themes of our meetings as the tech industry seeks to drive growth in an environment where enterprise spending is slowing and capital is scarcer. Our take is that despite the current challenges, the discipline coming into the technology sector will provide some interesting opportunities within the next 12 months.

Postcard from the South (Consumer)

Like Australia, the US consumer seems to have held up better for longer than anticipated. However, we came away with the view that US consumer spending is starting to show some clear signs of softening, and we think this has implications for us given the time lag between Australia and the US on inflation and interest rate hikes.