Markets

(New York)

Environmental, social, and governance investing is reaching a new market just about every month these days, but ESG blew past a huge one this week. Socially conscious investing capped a quarter of all new debt sales. Between corporations and countries, the ESG movement pushed out $391 billion in new debt this year. Companies like Enel SpA are leading the way in Italy, being pushed by the strong arm of European governments. The goal is to have Europe be a leader in climate change. However, investors are paying a premium to get ahold of the bonds. What many are calling ‘grenium’ is the excess being commanded by these socially conscious investments as practically everyone in the bond market is tracking ESG ratings.


FINSUM: Europe is a leader in the ESG movement, but its bond market might be a bit saturated. Look to the American or even emerging markets to get a piece of socially conscious bond investing.

 

(New York)

The bond market seems to have lost all touch with reality. Yields are extremely low, and given the more relaxed inflation reading this month, seem likely to stay pinned. Now consider this: European corporate debt real yields just turned negative. Yes, you are paying for the privilege of holding corporate debt. The ICE BofA index of European high-yield bonds is now at 2.34%, well below inflation.


FINSUM: Is there were ever a sign of a peak, this is it. Bond yields have nowhere to go but up, as there is no defensible logic that they could sustainably move lower. Unfortunately, it seems as though bonds and equity could move hand in hand, as the catalyst for big losses would be the Fed, which would trigger both asset classes.

Chinese regulators have come after everything from internet companies to education platforms, and this has left many investors skittish. Investors that would have maintained their convictions would have been well-suited, as since mid-August Chinese internet companies have bounced. Over this same time frame the MSCI Emerging Market Index, which holds a large share of Chinese companies, has doubled the return in the S&P 500. China’s focus on future regulation will better promote growth moving forward. The structure formed may benefit semiconductor companies, smart manufacturing, alternative energy, machine learning, cloud computing, autonomous vehicles, and other internet-related companies. Finally, Chinese companies have been quick to undue overwrought regulation and long-term regulation will be moderate.


FINSUM: Investors shouldn’t be too fickle with China, don’t spend too much time trying to nail regulatory swells, and embrace the long haul.

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