Asian Bond Market Review & Outlook

Bond Outlook

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Risks Fixed Income Investors Should Consider In 2021

The Fed’s corporate bond buying program was incredibly successful at restoring investor confidence and stabilizing credit markets. We believe central banks and national governments will continue to provide a significant level of market support. The Fed has pledged to keep short-term rates low through 2023, and it continues to purchase large amounts of fixed income instruments through its quantitative easing program. These efforts should help keep intermediate Treasury rates from rising too quickly. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the unanticipated can and will happen. Our consensus is for a modestly upward bias to rates and a steepening of the yield curve.

IG companies raised cash in various ways during 2020, including record term debt issuance, to ride out COVID-19 and pandemic-related economic and profit uncertainty. Cash resources for the IG non-Financial cohort grew by about $500 billion Y/Y, per Wells Fargo. The pace of IG downgrades and fallen angels slowed in the second half of 2020, per rating agency data. Balance sheet repair looks set to continue for those industries most negatively impacted by the pandemic (e.g., Energy, Materials, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary).

Why Do Interest Rate Changes Move Bond Prices?

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The Index ended just 3bps wider in 2020 after peaking at 373bps when credit curves inverted in March. If one fell asleep a year ago and woke up today, one might conclude that not much changed over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on unemployment, economic growth, and risk asset performance during the first half of 2020. IG corporate spreads peaked at nearly +400bps and equities declined by about 30 percent by late March. But then the cavalry arrived in the form of extraordinary monetary stimulus.

Credit Trends Dashboard

Interest rates will likely start to move higher as the recovery progresses, but we expect rates to take years to fully return to prepandemic levels. With short-term rates locked near zero, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the yield curve steepen as interest rates normalize.

Any specific securities mentioned are for illustrative and example only. They do not necessarily represent actual investments in any client portfolio. Nothing contained herein should be construed or relied upon as financial, legal or tax advice. Investors should consult with their financial professional before making any investment decisions. For 2021, we expect economic and profit growth normalization, particularly toward summertime and the second half of the year, as vaccine distribution accelerates.

What Will The Federal Reserve Do?

Fiscal policy has become more supportive, with the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Advisory services are provided by Vanguard Advisers Inc. , a registered investment advisor. The length of time between a bond’s issue date and when its face value will be repaid. Usually refers to common stock, which is an investment that represents part ownership in a corporation. Each share of stock is a proportional stake in the corporation’s assets and profits. Because the terms of a specific bond are known in advance, the value of that bond will usually fluctuate in a relatively narrow range as compared with stocks.

Portfolio manager Adam Kramer says convertible bonds provide another option for those who look to bonds for capital appreciation while also managing risk. “Convertibles offer the potential for capital appreciation like stocks, but also potential downside protection in case an issuer defaults. Because convertibles are considered bonds and as such their holders are first in line to be paid if the issuer becomes insolvent. Convertible bond prices can fall if interest rates rise and stock prices decline, but they are less sensitive to such changes than both stocks and traditional corporate bonds,” he says. But much as the ebullience of New Year’s Eve gives way to a chilly January, the bountiful bond market of 2020—and the bull market in bonds that has run since the 1980s—may give way to tougher times for bond investors in 2021. Fidelity’s Asset Allocation Research Team says returns for many categories of bonds are likely to be lower than their historical averages as the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy starts to bite.

New Economy

Vaccines and a proposed stimulus bill figure to give bonds a shot in the arm. The material contained on this website is not intended to be a recommendation or investment advice, does not constitute a solicitation to buy, sell or hold a security or investment strategy and is not provided in a fiduciary capacity. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor’s objectives and circumstances and in consultation with his or her financial professionals. Similarly, the high yield and short-duration high yield segments returned 4.89% and 4.08% in 2020, respectively.

US securitized assets such as credit risk–transfer securities—residential mortgage-backed bonds issued by US government-sponsored enterprises—and commercial mortgage-backed securities. CRTs benefit from a still-solid US housing market, among other positive factors. Securitized assets have low correlations with other fixed-income sectors and other asset classes, and they offer a healthy yield pickup over corporate bonds. For investors subject to high federal and state tax rates, particularly following the state and local tax deduction cap, munis offer more yield compared with their taxable counterparts. As a result, they remain a valuable building block of a portfolio designed to maximize after-tax income and return. If investors are in a high tax bracket and committed to having some duration in a portfolio, munis are an attractive source.

Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp., Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd are preparing to lift about 10.8 million barrels in May, the sources said on condition of anonymity. State refiners, which control about 60% of India’s 5 million barrels per day refining capacity, together import an average 14.7-14.8 million barrels of Saudi oil in a month, the sources said. Ackman, who runs hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, said on Twitter he also donated the shares to a donor-advised funds program and another non-profit he did not identify.

Why I Like Ginnie Mae Funds Now

After the record annual inflows into municipal bond mutual funds in 2019, of $93.6 billion, investors unloaded their holdings during March and April. An astonishing $55 billion of net redemptions overwhelmed the secondary marketplace, pushing yields on even the highest quality municipal bonds up almost 2% across the entire yield curve. However, the market quickly regained its footing with support from both the Fed and new demand from non-traditional crossover buyers. The first six months of 2020 were extremely noteworthy for the corporate bond market. The combination of spread volatility and record-setting new issue volume surprised even the most experienced bond market experts.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of each fund carefully before investing. This and other information is found in the prospectus and summary prospectus. For a prospectus or summary prospectus, contact Baird directly at or contact your Financial Advisor. Scott Minerd, Chairman of Investments and Global CIO, discussed his outlook for markets and the economy with CNBC’s Brian Sullivan during the Milken Institute 2020 Global Conference. A Ripe Environment for Strong Credit Performance Our positive 2021 economic outlook, combined with better-than-expected company fundamentals, supports strong credit performance and spreads.

However, we have not verified this information, and we make no representations whatsoever as to its accuracy or completeness. Forecasts and/or estimates provided herein are subject to change and may not actually come to pass. Information regarding expected market returns and market outlooks is based on the research, analysis and opinions of the authors. These conclusions are speculative in nature and are not intended to predict the future performance of any specific Morgan Stanley Investment Management product.

While much of the media attention was on the wild swings in equity markets, the bond market also experienced heightened volatility not seen since the Great Recession of 2008. A portfolio of mortgages should retain their value better than ordinary bonds if interest rates rise. Lastly, high-yield bonds retain a handsome yield advantage over Treasuries. Good fund managers, including those at Vanguard High Yield Corporate , are careful to avoid sick sectors and borrowers with cash-flow crises. IMTC is designed by and for fixed income professionals, empowering them to take action and make decisions quickly and accurately with real-time data and analytics capabilities. It allows you to future-proof your business; driving operational efficiencies, mitigating risk and delivering performance, to ultimately enable business growth. When asking where bond investors should put their money in 2021, we are reminded that bond allocations are intended to dampen the volatility associated with the equity portion of a portfolio, not with an eye toward hitting a home run.

Interest Rates And Bond Funds

It’s important to understand why a bond offers a high yield,” says Coash. That means analyzing company fundamentals, liquidity, the industry’s outlook, and other factors. If you are willing and able to do your own research, a wide variety of tools on can help.

We have global expertise in market analysis and in advisory and capital-raising services for corporations, institutions and governments. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money. If you’re looking to bonds for ballast, consider high-quality, longer duration bonds. Bullard’s remarks rehashed his largely optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy this year, with the pandemic expected to ease and households in shape to spend. Jennifer Bond is Deputy Director of Outlook and Staff Analysis in the Market and Trade Economics Division.

Prices and interest rates for an individual bond depend on a variety of factors, including positive or negative news about the issuer or changes in its credit rating. The bond markets are affected more by the interest rate environment than anything else.

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