Thursday, 18 May 2023 13:48

Fixed Income a Big Winner From Fed Pause

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Elizabeth O’Brien covered the optimism among bond investors that a change in Fed policy could result in a major rally for the asset class in a Barron’s article. Current fed futures odds show that the market sees a more than 90% chance of the Fed pausing at its next meeting. And given recent inflation and economic data, it’s likely that the Fed has seen sufficient progress to shift its focus to financial stability over combating inflation.

Therefore, it could be an opportune moment to invest in high-quality bonds with longer maturities. These bonds are yielding about 5% which is nearly double what they averaged during the past decade. 

While some believe that the economy is weakening enough to compel the Fed to cut rates by the end of the year, others believe this is a more typical cycle and that the Fed will likely be on hold for an extended period of time. 

Since 1990, the average pause between hiking and cutting cycles has been 10 months. The typical behavior is that fixed income rallied in anticipation of cuts but volatility picks up until the cuts actually begin, leading to a healthy tailwind for the sector. 

Finsum: A major catalyst could be emerging for fixed income given that the market expects the Fed to pivot at its next FOMC meeting in June.


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