The new year has started with a blunt reminder of probably everything that investors wanted to forget over the holiday season: economic data is worsening while the oil price continues to fall, dragging down equities and the most equity-like fixed income asset classes. Traditional safe-havens continue to rally, as they did in 2018.
The year left behind ended far worse than it started: after a st… Read the article
German government bonds have gone from strength to strength in recent times; much like the German team at the World Cup – I wish! But is the latest Bund rally sustainable? I think not.
Let’s start with the bull case. In a recent blog, I described how Bunds had provided an efficient hedge against surging political uncertainty in Italy, due to the negative correlation between yields on German and… Read the article
Political turmoil in Italy and Spain, escalating trade tensions and, for good measure, unexpectedly strong US employment data – to say that markets had a turbulent few days would be an understatement. Taking a step back, here are three lessons I took away from last week.
(1) Market sentiment shifts can be brutal
Political risks in the European periphery are real – a statement that might sound t… Read the article
Creating a Eurozone-wide safe asset and thus diversifying sovereign risk within the currency union without the need for sovereign debt mutualisation – sounds like having your cake and eating it, doesn’t it? Well, according to the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS) might do the trick. SBBS are merely an idea, discussed in ESRB working papers, feasibility… Read the article
Short term US dollar interest rates continue their march higher. 3-Month USD LIBOR recently hit 1.61%, fuelled by the Fed’s 25 basis point hike on December 13th, a level last seen in late 2008. With further rate hikes on the horizon in the US and a potentially more hawkish European Central Bank, is 2018 the year when floating rate high yield meaningfully outperforms its fixed rate cousin?
The s… Read the article
Richard recently wrote about how government bond indices should be adjusted to account for quantitative easing (QE) purchases, thereby better reflecting the actual availability of investments in the market. A key argument indicated that given the absence of this adjustment, European government indices are incorrectly skewed towards more highly rated sovereigns, even though their issuance is not… Read the article
After four calendar years of price appreciation, it looks like the US dollar will end 2017 deeply in negative territory. The dollar has fallen by almost 12% this year versus the euro and around 8% on a trade weighted basis. More surprisingly, the sharp depreciation of the dollar against the euro has occurred in a period when central bank policy has diverged, resulting in the yield differential … Read the article
First of all, our thoughts are with those impacted by Hurricane Irma and other recent weather-related disasters.
Beyond the human tragedy and economic costs, these are typically low-probability, but potentially high-impact, events that can ultimately impact an issuer’s ability to service its debt obligations. As bond investors, we aim to assess the various risk factors related to the companies … Read the article
Argentina’s recently issued century bond deal was unexpected in terms of timing and maturity. Century bonds in Emerging Markets (EM) are rare (we think the table below is pretty exhaustive) and they grab the headlines, especially when issued by a credit that has defaulted many (many) times, like Argentina.
Are century bonds that much risker?
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- Duration: As we wrote previously, the duration of …
The Czech National Bank (CNB) has removed its cap against the Euro, which I blogged about earlier this year. Though the signs had been pointing to an early removal (headline inflation had been within the target range since October last year and the CNB had hardened its signalling language), the timing of yesterday’s move at the central bank’s extraordinary meeting did come as a surprise. Curren… Read the article