In the latest episode of our Global Perspectives podcast series, Jenna Barnard and John Pattullo, Co-Heads of Strategic Fixed Income, join Adam Hetts, Global Head of Portfolio Construction and Strategy, to talk through their views on bond markets. They explain why they think bond yields have behaved logically throughout the year and why they disagree with the pervasive linear thinking of higher bond yields ahead. Bond markets are signaling where interest rates are heading but people seem to be oblivious to the message.

Key Takeaways

  • Bond yields in 2021 have behaved logically, reacting to the rate of change in economic data. As such, the peak in sovereign bond yields (in March/April) coincided with the peak in acceleration in the rate of economic growth. Yields have since declined with the deceleration in the rate of change of economic data and not, as the media would put it, because of short covering or the Delta variant.
  • A clue to the bond market’s thinking on the long-term outlook for rates came after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced two rate hikes in 2023; the yield curve flattened as it would at the end of a hiking cycle, signaling a lower long-term neutral rate of interest.
  • Next spring/summer will prove interesting for the bond investor. This is because we expect to see a reverse base effect – i.e., the base effects that drove inflation up this year will be very hard to beat next year, and we expect to see the first signs of what the structural outlook will be in terms of inflation. We are open‑minded to potential new lows in bond yields occurring next year.

Tune in to Global Perspectives, a series where our investment leaders discuss the biggest market trends and implications for investors.

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