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How bond investors should assess the opportunities in the US high yield energy sector

U.S. high yield energy bonds have sold off recently, virtually reversing their Q1/Q2 rally. The main culprit is, again, oil prices.  The recent re-re pricing in oil has led to energy bonds trading at levels worse than the last time oil sold-off at the beginning of 2015.  In fact, the BAML U.S. high yield energy index this week reached its widest levels (in terms of spreads) since April 2009 at …

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A quick look at possible implications of China’s record weakening of the renminbi

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has announced this morning that it is improving the pricing mechanism of the daily fixing rate of the renminbi. It will do this by referencing the previous day’s closing rate and by taking into account “demand and supply conditions in the foreign exchange markets” as well as exchange rate movements of other major currencies. As a result, the USDCNY (US dollar t…

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M&G Panoramic Outlook: The Case for Global Corporate Bond Investing

The euro’s 12-year low against the dollar is a mixed blessing for US companies. On the one hand, the US manufacturing sector is suffering from an uncompetitive currency and lower export revenues. But on the other, rock bottom European interest rates have given US companies an attractive opportunity to issue bonds denominated in euros and lock in cheap financing. For example, in the first quarte…

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2015-05 Blog BL

The Bond Market is Looking Through Present Inflation Numbers

CPI in the UK today fell into negative territory for the first time, posting a 0.1% decline year-over-year. Airfares presented a meaningful drag on the April figures, owing to the timing of Easter compared to last year. Carriers increase their prices over Easter holidays, so when Easter moves between months this causes flight prices to move around, thereby affecting the headline inflation numbe…

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Last week: the election, the abolition of physical money, and how Tesla’s new battery is going to change the world and save us from a future zombie apocalypse

Here are a few quick thoughts about things that happened last week.

First, the UK election and the failure of the opinion polls. Ahead of the General Election we met with several of the big opinion pollsters, and even ran a Bond Vigilantes x Politics event featuring Anthony Wells of YouGov. Without exception they highlighted how unusual it was that, whilst the Conservatives appeared to be neck …

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Explaining the collapse in global inflation rates – step forward China

We’ve been worried for years about the prospect of a sharp slowdown in China and the knock on implications for those countries and companies that have grown reliant on a strong China over the last decade, namely commodity exporters, some emerging markets, and particularly emerging market commodity exporters (eg see If China’s economy rebalances and growth slows, as it surely must, then who’s sc…

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Competition winners for Richard Koo’s book: 10 copies of The Escape from Balance Sheet Recession and the QE Trap

Richard Koo popped by our office a few weeks ago to discuss his most recent book The Escape from Balance Sheet recession and the QE Trap.  You can see the interview here.  We asked who was the Japanese prime minister in 1997 who oversaw arguably Japan’s biggest policy error post the collapse of Japan’s debt fuelled bubble, and the answer was Ryutaro Hashimoto.

It is perhaps a little harsh to im…

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Tweet inflation survey March 15

The M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey – Q1 2015

Economic policy hawks love inflation expectation surveys. As do bond fund managers, who like to keep a close eye on inflation to ensure that fixed income returns aren’t being eroded away. Provided that inflation expectations are close to target, we tend to argue expectations are well anchored and thus central bankers can rest easy. However, the monetary policy actions undertaken by many central…

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The improvement in the US jobs market is quantitatively huge – but qualitatively mediocre

The condition of the US labour market is one of the hot topics in the ongoing “will they / won’t they” Fed rate hiking debate, and as Bloomberg’s Economic Surprises screen shows, this sector is the only area of the economy outperforming expectations of late.

Labour market indicators continue to impress, with employment indicators strong on many measures. Initial Jobless Claims have dropped to …

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Islamic-finance

The Middle-East – an expensive safe haven for bond investors

I am just back from a fascinating investor trip to the Middle-East, where I spent a week meeting with corporate and government bond issuers as well as market participants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We spoke at length about Islamic finance, the oil price impact and geopolitical risk.

When I asked the question of the oil price impact on the region to corporate issuers and government offic…

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