DoubleLine's Gundlach: European, EM equities more attractive than U.S.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - European and emerging markets equities are more attractive than U.S. equities, and volatility in stock markets is “insanely low,” influential investor and head of DoubleLine Capital Jeffrey Gundlach told Reuters on Wednesday.

Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Gundlach, who oversees more than $100 billion at DoubleLine, and is known as the “Bond King” on Wall Street, said Europe and emerging markets are “significantly cheaper” on a cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio and price-to-book basis.

“I’d rather much be overseas than in U.S,” Gundlach said in an interview. “That’s how I felt all year. Part of that was I felt - and it’s fading a little bit but it’s still a narrative - that the reason people were so bullish on the U.S. is a) it had done really well from 2011, b) they believed the dollar was going to go up a lot more. And I disagreed.”

Already, the pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index is up 9.7 percent since the end of 2016, while the S&P 500 .SPX is up 7.1 percent in that period.

“They are no longer falling knives versus S&P,” Gundlach said, referring to Europe and emerging markets investments.

The DoubleLine Shiller Enhanced CAPE DSEEX.O fund, with $3.7 billion of assets, posted returns of 10.31 percent year-to-date as of April 30, ranking it in the top percentile in its category, according to Morningstar.

Speaking at the Sohn Investment Conference on Monday, Gundlach said investors should buy the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets exchange-traded fund and short an ETF tracking the S&P 500 using borrowed money.

Asked about the VIX Index, a measure of implied volatility known as the “fear gauge” for U.S. stocks, which fell earlier this week to its lowest close since 1993, Gundlach said: “I think the VIX is insanely low. Anytime the VIX is below 10, if you could actually buy it, you should. But people can’t buy the VIX. A regular Joe can’t go long the VIX.”

Gundlach also said he opened a new Twitter account under the handle @TruthGundlach on Monday because “I am tired of people increasingly feeling that they have a carte blanche to report any falsehoods they want.”

Gundlach, who has already amassed more than 14,700 followers on Twitter, said he does not plan on responding to his Twitter followers, but will post some insights on the markets. He said his account is “basically the media police.”

“Not in it for any other reason,” Gundlach said. “I don’t care what people think. I am not looking for votes.”

Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Bill Rigby