Laureline Chatelain

Laureline Chatelain

Articles by Laureline Chatelain

Emerging market sovereign debt update: yields are falling

Inflation and Policy Rates Average in Some EM, 2012-2019

Yields have fallen significantly in the EM sovereign bond space in local currency; USD movements will be key to watch for going forward.Yields have fallen impressively in the emerging market (EM) sovereign bond space in local currency, reaching 5.3% on 16 August, near their all-time low of 5.2% (in May 2013). This downward movement has been partly driven by the recent policy rate cuts of some EM central banks.

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UK 10-YEAR Gilt Yield Breakdown and Forecast, 2014 - 2019

UK sovereign bond (gilts) yields have fallen this year, with the 10-year yield dropping by 59 basis points (bps) to 0.69%1, in concert with other core sovereign bond yields. The Brexit saga, along with the global slowdown forcing many central banks to turn dovish, are the main factors behind this steep fall.

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DM credit caught between opposing forces


Despite the impressive year-to-date performance of corporate credit, we remain prudent about prospects in the remainder of 2019.Corporate bonds have posted stellar total returns year to date, thanks to the positive combination of lower sovereign yields and tighter credit spreads.

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The ECB moves to keep euro bond yields down

10-Year Euro Area Sovereign Bond Yields, 2017-2019

Prospects of more ECB easing has contributed to an across-the-board rally in euro sovereign bonds yields and could help limit volatility in peripheral bonds.Since Mario Draghi in June signalled the European Central Bank’s (ECB) readiness to embark on more easing should the euro area economy fail to regain speed, euro sovereign bonds yields have fallen across the board, with the 10-year Bund yield briefly moving below -0.4% (the same level as the deposit rate) in intraday trading on July 4.

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Bund yields-Heading further down?

Our central forecast is for Bund yields to rise (feebly) into positive territory by the end of this year, although risks are tilting to the downside.Four main factors have been driving down the 10-year Bund yield, which reached an all-time low of -0.26% on June 7. Considering changing circumstances, we have lowered our year-end target for the 10-year Bund yield from 0.3% to 0.1% and expect it to remain in negative territory until at least October in our central scenario (55% probability).

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A dovish Fed could become even more so

Economic momentum has weakened of late, while core inflation has underwhelmed

Trade, inflation expectations and economic data could well spark ‘insurance’ rate cuts by the Fed in the coming months.We now believe that the Federal Reserve (Fed) could deliver two ‘insurance’ rate cuts of 25bps in coming months (up to now, we expected rates to be on hold in 2019-2020). We see three drivers that could dictate the exact timing of these cuts:

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Core sovereign bond yields – update

10-Year Yield, 2016-2019

We are adjusting downward our year-end targets for the 10-year US Treasury and Bund yields.Taking hold of two important changes to our central macroeconomic scenarios, we are adjusting downward our year-end target for the 10-year US Treasury yield from 3.0% to 2.8% and the Bund yield from 0.5% to 0.3%. 

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Peripheral bonds after the Spanish election

Spanish and Italian Government Budget Balances, 2006-2019

We remain underweight peripheral euro area bonds in general due to continued political uncertainty, which will feed volatility.On April 28, Spain held its third general election in less than four years. As was expected, the centre-left Socialists (PSOE) emerged the largest party, but it does not have an absolute majority, so negotiations with other parties will be needed.

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German Bund, 2016 - 2019

A host of factors weighed on German growth in H2 2018: a sharp slowdown in global demand on the external side and several transitory factors on the domestic side impacted industrial activity. At the same time, the 10-year German Bund yield has been trending downward. The steep fall in the oil price in late 2018, the economic slowdown and the Bund’s safe haven status are all factors behind the German bund’s yield fall.

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Outlook for euro periphery bonds

Italian Sovereign Spread and Italian Banks CDS 2011-2019

Economic fundamentals should come back into focus, but politics still a factor.After a year when peripheral countries’ old demons made a reappearance, with, in particular, Italy’s public debt back in the spotlight, the focus should shift to economic fundamentals in 2019. Both the Spanish and Italian economies are set to slow down, although the situation is more serious in Italy.

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Euro Credit: 2019 Outlook

Euro Credit, 2015 - 2018

Last year was a difficult one for euro credit, with both the ICE Bank of America Merrill Lynch (ICE BofAML) investment grade (IG) and high yield (HY) indices posting negative total returns. This was entirely due to wider credit spreads, as medium-term German government bonds yields fell slightly.

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Core Euro Sovereign Bonds 2019 Outlook

10 Year Bund Yield and EONIA Pricing, 2016 - 2018

In our central scenario, we expect the 10-year Bund yield to rise gradually to 0.8% by the end of next year from 0.26% on 17 December. Underpinning this upward movement is our expectation of a cumulative deposit rate hike of 40 basis points (bps) by the ECB, against current market expectations of only 10 bps.

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Rise in Bund yield will be limited

Euro Area Composite PMI and Germany 10-year Bund Yield, 2015 - 2018

With the faltering in euro area business sentiment since February, the Italy-led sell-off of risk assets at the end of May and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) dovish meeting in June, we are revising our year-end forecast for the German 10-year Bund yield from 0.9% to 0.6%, as we hinted we might do in a previous note.

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