Pharmaceuticals , food, and tobacco stocks should be the best performing sectors in a contagion scenario, said Panseri, as these have behaved defensively in times of recent sovereign risk, such as between June and September 2011, after Moody’s Investors Service placed Italy’s credit rating on review for a downgrade.
However, she warned that investors should avoid bank stocks. “Financials are the most impacted by the rise in sovereign risk,” she said.
Investors should look for shares for which there is a positive correlation between relative stock performance and sovereign credit default swap levels, said Panseri.
Also attractive are companies with free floating market capitalization above 5 billion euros ($6.26 billion), strong balance sheets, and high exposure to emerging markets (assuming a soft landing in China).
—By CNBC.com's Katy Barnato
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