What is more important for credit spreads in the current environment: the fundamentals or central bank actions? Our research suggests that since 2010 the answer has been central banks and, in particular, the US Federal Reserve.
For the next 12 months, we are quite positive on performance prospect for global credit, singling out five investment themes.
Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on March 29th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.
We expect June and December Fed hikes, but only mild further easing ahead for the BOJ and ECB. Meanwhile, we expect oil prices to creep higher through 2016 despite the stronger USD due to relatively firm economic developments in China and the G-3.
We expect that global equity and bond investing will be positive for Yen based investors due to Yen weakness, but for USD based investors, we are taking only a neutral stance on global equities due to a cautious forecast for US equities, whereas we are positive on Asia-Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe. Meanwhile, we are moderately negative on bonds in each region when measured in USD terms, so we underweight them.
While a recession in the US is not our base scenario, the impact of such an event on credit exposure is worthy of consideration. In our historical analysis we've found that the driver of past recessions can provide important insight into which credit maturities are most attractive.
US monetary policy grows less independent as 2016 unfolds and risks to global growth abound in a rebalancing China, a deflationary struggle in Europe and whispers of a Brexit.
Our Global Credit staff in London detail their rationale behind concentrating on service sector exposure globally.
As we have seen over the past year in the equity market, the more Beijing wants to exert control, the more it slips away. Is pragmatism going to trump ideology in Beijing? In the current environment, the PBOC letting the RMB free float might not be so unbelievable after all.
In our view, the USD will soften when the Fed comes to accept the reality of slow-to-no growth globally and becomes more dovish in its language and approach.
Unfortunately for the soundness of the sleep among BOJ-watchers, Mr. Kuroda believes that surprising the market is the best way to achieve his intended result.
Our London and US analysts review oil prices from the supply and demand angle and they note that global demand growth remains high while global supply is narrowing, indicating that oilfs price swoon could be over.
Our Singapore fixed income team expounds on the outlook for this clearly globally important factor.
John Vail reflects on the Fed decision and the path forward. The Fed was even more dovish than apparent in the headlines.
Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on December 8th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.
We only expect mild further easing ahead, especially as the ECB does not wish to cause a rupture while the Fed is hiking rates.
We forecast that Asia Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe will outperform in the next six months, while the US should underperform and, thus, deserve an underweight stance vs. all other regions.
As we enter 2016, we believe the divergent monetary policy theme will continue -- with the major risk to global bond markets and Fed rate rises continuing to be Europe.
The IMF's decision to include the Renminbi into the SDR is a major push for the RMB to become one of the world's major reserve currencies.
Our lead Australian fixed income portfolio manager discusses her intermediate-term outlook for the bond market “down under.”