Displaying items by tag: rates
The Fed is once again shaking the financial world as tapering signals are trickling in…see the full story on our partner Magnifi’s site
According to a poll of leading bond strategists surveyed by Reuters, there is likely to be a correction in bond markets in the next three months. The reason why is that central banks across the world are all looking for the exits from their stimulus programs. The head of strategy at Rabobank commented that “The message from Powell is: We will look through it (inflation). We're not going to jump to conclusions and that creates some calm. But you just need a couple of big surprises (in data) and things are again open to correction”. 59% of those strategists surveyed said they saw a “significant” sell-off in global bond markets coming in the next three months.
FINSUM: This all depends on timing and signaling. If the Fed makes an inadvertently hawkish statement, you could easily see a 2013-style Taper Tantrum. But if the Fed uses careful wording and guidance, the whole transition could be smooth.
The market has been nervous for months about growing inflation in the US. The Fed has tried to appear sanguine about it, and has so far done a decent job of keeping fears in check. However, a blowout inflation report this month, as well as more hawkish comments this week, means that anxiety is rising strongly again. And according to Jeffrey Gundlach, the fears are justified as he believes inflation will not be “transitory” as central bankers have been predicting. One of his core arguments is that inflation may become a self-fulfilling prophecy, where consumers start stocking up on items now to avoid future price rises, which in turn causes shortages and drives prices higher.
FINSUM: The self-fulfilling prophecy is a good near-term argument, but we have a longer-term one: demographics. The largest generation in the history of the US—Millennials—are coming into their peak earning and buying years, which is creating demand for literally everything, and supply is tight across almost all industries. Inflation looks inevitable.
There has been a lot of worry about bond prices recently. With inflation rising steeply and the bond market still regaining its footing, it is easy to worry about another sharp selloff. Because junk bonds are on the riskier end of the fixed income spectrum, many think there is more risk in this area. However, the opposite is true, especially in a rising economy. Because they tend to have higher yields and shorter terms, junk bonds naturally have less rate risk. Additionally, because of their underlying financials, junk bonds have a lot to gain in a rising economy. For example, they may be likely to get upgraded, and because of their relatively weak financial positioning to begin with, even minor gains can mean substantial valuation improvements.
FINSUM: If you need income, then high yield bonds are one of the best bets given their natural rate hedging and their potential for significant financial improvement.
With the huge CPI number hitting the tape yesterday, gold had a predictable reaction: it rose. Since bottoming out a few months ago in the $1,600 range, it has since risen to over $1,900 as inflation fears have picked up. However, inflation is not the only thing driving the metal, as the Fed is playing a big role too. If the Fed stays dovish, and therefore the path of rates looks to stay low, then gold is in a great position—higher inflation with little rate risk from the Fed.
FINSUM: Gold is in a good spot. The Fed will only start hiking if inflation really jumps, which would push gold higher anyway. If inflation is more mild, then at least their won’t be rate pressure.