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US

Panoramic Weekly: Ignoring Trump

Most global fixed income asset classes gained over the past five trading days, despite an escalation of the ongoing US-China trade war and the inclusion of new tariffs between the world’s two largest economies. Reduced trade, however, may bring more harm than good to the US economy, as levies usually generate inflation and, therefore, higher rates. Indeed, the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yiel…

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Panoramic Weekly: 2008-2018: Don’t look back in anger

Few people would have guessed right after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, ten years ago this week, that a golden decade for bond investors laid ahead – but it has happened: as many as 92 of the 100 fixed income asset classes tracked by Panoramic Weekly have delivered positive returns, with 17 of them offering triple-digit returns. The 2008 crisis’ most-battered asset classes, such as High Yiel…

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HY spreads: the story behind the story

There is much talk about how tight US High Yield (HY) spreads are, especially relative to their Investment Grade (IG) peers. The difference between the two, of 241 basis points (bps), is less than half of what it was a decade ago – making some market observers quickly conclude that US HY looks expensive, so investors should favour IG bonds instead. But, is this the full story?

I believe there i…

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Panoramic Weekly: Summer storm

An escalation of diplomatic tensions between the US and Turkey and Russia triggered a global fixed income sell-off that particularly hit Emerging Markets (EMs), and led to a safe-haven rush, with US Treasuries, Swiss and German bonds in heavy demand. The risk-off mode intensified towards the end of last week, when the Turkish lira plunged 18% in two days as a deadline for Turkey to release a US…

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Can Russia stomach new US sanctions?

After the summer break, the US Congress is scheduled to review various bills proposing additional sanctions on Russia. The proposals include additional restrictions on Russian imports and exports to the US, as well as on activities of Russian banks in the country. Under consideration there will also be a ban, for US citizens, to trade any newly-issued Russian sovereign debt with a maturity of m…

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How vulnerable are Emerging Markets to Trade Wars?

Emerging Markets Portfolio Manager Claudia Calich analyses the potential effects of an escalation of the US-China trade tensions on Emerging Markets. Despite the diplomatic rows and all the column inches written, Claudia discusses how popular products such as French wine and cheese will always find their way to the end consumer, no matter how many barriers along the way. Calich also explains wh…

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Does the U.S. yield curve predict wider credit spreads? Also, goodbye to Hamish Watson

As the U.S. yield curve flattened to just 45 bps (2s-10s) last week, we dug out something I wrote back in 2007, in the early days of this blog.  A chart that accompanied the blog showed that a) U.S. BBB credit spreads had hit their tightest level for nearly 3 decades and b) that the yield curve had flattened substantially (and in fact inverted).  If you pushed the yield curve shape chart 18 mon…

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2017 High Yield Review – Another Solid Year

Good performance after an exceptional 2016

2017 was another good year for high yield investors with the global high yield index delivering a total return of 8.0% (in USD terms), albeit this was less exciting than the 16% achieved in 2016. The US continued to outperform Europe but at a far more modest rate compared to 2016, with a 7.5% local currency total return vs Europe’s 6.7%, although much …

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Trump’s US tax Christmas present: glittering gifts for Investment Grade telecom companies, but only lumps of coal for High Yield

On 22nd December last year, President Trump enacted probably the most significant achievement to date of his presidency by signing the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017.  The precise implications of tax law changes can be fiendishly complicated and difficult to assess due to the numbing complexity of the legislation and individual companies’ tax planning arrangements.  However, in broad strokes, I be…

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Cross currency basis – what is it? And what are the implications?

Towards the end of this year, a December spike in the cross currency basis for major currencies against the dollar grabbed the market’s attention. But what is cross currency basis (“the basis”)?

Consider a European company taking a one year loan from its domestic local bank to fund its US operations abroad. In order to hedge the currency risk, the company enters into a one year EUR/USD currenc…

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