Plotting a course through volatile bond markets

22-1-2019

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​Nick Maroutsos, Co-Head of Global Bonds, explains why the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will likely not meet its 2019 interest rate target and how investors might position themselves for a more subdued rate path.

Until the summer of 2018, bond investors expected 2019 to be characterised by a continuation of gradual rate tightening by the Federal Reserve (Fed) and an upward shift along the front end of the US Treasury yield curve. Fiscal stimulus and strong economic data stood to push the yield on 10-year Treasuries above 3.0% for the first time since 2014. This scenario was reinforced by wages registering annual gains greater than 3.0% and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comment that interest rates were “a long way from neutral”, meaning markets could expect additional hikes. Spurred by these developments, rates rose across the curve during the autumn. It was not to last.

The late-year reversal in Treasuries and widening of credit spreads indicate that the market’s expectations for 2019 have changed considerably. While many factors have contributed to falling yields and a flattening curve, we consider the focal point to be the Fed’s expected interest rate path.

Plan A – out the window?

Investors expected higher interest rates for several reasons. Foremost, the Fed told us. The rationale behind forward guidance was to telegraph the future path of rates so as not to surprise markets. Many believed the Fed sought to increase its “dry powder” to better prepare itself for an economic downturn. Economic data also favoured continued tightening. US GDP growth for 2018 is forecast to reach 3.0%, driven by solid consumption and business investment. The uptick in wages reminded the Fed to be vigilant about inflation. Lastly, the extended business cycle led to rich valuations in risk assets such as stocks and corporate credits and deteriorating credit standards, developments the Fed could interpret as signs of an overheating economy.

What changed?

With the labour market at what many view as full employment, the need to keep rates low has dissipated. However, given the lack of inflation, there is scant reason to push forward on aggressive tightening. In fact, we believe that disinflationary forces have recently gathered steam. After reaching the Fed’s targeted level, core inflation has slid back below 2.0%, and annualised monthly data indicate this downward trend is accelerating. Should crude oil’s 30% late-year drop prove sticky, lower prices could leech into core inflation and could send the Fed’s favoured price gauge even lower.

Chart 1: Core PCE Index, three-month change annualised


Source: Bloomberg, as at December 2018. PCE = personal consumption expenditures.

While lower oil prices benefit many industries, drilling’s increasing role in the US economy could add a headwind to future growth prospects. But overshadowing the risk posed by oil are the trade disputes that have fuelled caution among companies as the future playing field of global commerce remains uncertain. This ambiguity has acutely weighed on China and the countries that are heavily intertwined in its supply chain.

Many of the autumn’s developments – from higher longer-dated Treasuries to a wobbly stock market – act as a form of fiscal tightening and, thus, may diminish the need for the Fed to maintain its recent pace. Furthermore, the Fed’s bias remains dovish, meaning that if it were to risk policy error, it would be to allow the economy to run hot for a finite period.  It is our view that the risk posed by slowing rate hikes has diminished as the economy is arguably positioned for a sustained period of non-inflationary growth.

Where to go

For much of the past two years, we considered holding US duration a risky proposition given the Fed’s removal of accommodative monetary policy vis-à-vis its developed market peers. In light of the widening range of outcomes for the global economy and the absence of inflation, we believe the 2019 prospects for Treasuries may not be as grim as originally expected. Should a slowdown in global growth occur or one of many potential sources of geopolitical risk ignite, Treasuries’ allure may further rise as investors seek traditional safe havens.

If investors choose to increase their Treasuries allocation, they still must be selective as to which tenors to target. The yield curve flattened significantly in 2018, with the spread between 10-year and 2-year notes sliding from 78 basis points (bps) in February to less than 12 bps by early December. Such a term structure provides investors little incremental return for the additional interest rate risk they take on when holding longer-dated securities. For this reason, we expect any push into Treasuries to be concentrated along the front end of the curve.

The return of an asset class

As recently as 2017, the appeal of holding shorter-dated Treasuries may have been limited given their low yields. That is no longer the case. The Fed’s nine rate increases pushed the yield on the 2-year note toward 3.0% before the late 2018 reversal in yields, up from 0.55% in 2016. Higher yields have buttressed the argument for shorter-dated bonds being their own asset class rather than a proxy for cash they were viewed as for much of the post-crisis era. Should the pace of rate hikes be curtailed, we consider it more likely that the yield curve experiences some steepening in 2019 as investors seek the stability – and yield – of shorter-dated Treasuries.

The alternatives

Conversely, a move into Treasuries would come at the expense of foreign bonds. We are, however, not there yet. Many regions lag the US in tightening, and a slowdown in global growth is likely to keep their policy accommodative for longer. Given their reliance on commodities and linkages to China, Australia and New Zealand fit into this category. These countries still offer attractive carry relative to the US, but increasing dovishness by the Fed may justify an eventual equal-weighting to US duration.

European sovereigns, with their low yields, are less desirable. The situation is exacerbated by the acute risk the region faces with Brexit, Italy’s budget stand-off and a leadership transition in Germany. While we do not expect the European Central Bank to institute another round of quantitative easing, we believe it will hold off on tightening until the outlook becomes clearer.

Risks remain

Futures markets expect only one rate hike in 2019 and none in 2020, well below the Fed’s median forecast. Should the market be proven correct, investors would likely have to deal with a weaker-than-expected economy.  Low-growth conditions would not be favourable for overburdened corporate balance sheets and the ensuing spread widening would add yet another reason for investors to seek the safe harbour of Treasuries.

Should the Fed’s view be right, the market would likely experience a snapback, much like what was experienced in October when yields rose across the curve. While not our base-case scenario, we believe the higher rate path could be driven by an upside surprise in inflation, either due to robust wage growth or tariffs resulting in higher-priced goods for US consumers.

Dit zijn de visies van de auteur op het moment van publicatie en die kunnen afwijken van de visies van andere personen of teams bij Janus Henderson Investors. De genoemde effecten, fondsen, sectoren en indices in dit artikel vormen geen (deel van een) aanbod of verzoek om die effecten te kopen of te verkopen.

Resultaten behaald in het verleden vormen geen garantie voor de toekomst. Alle performancegegevens omvatten inkomsten- en kapitaalwinsten of verliezen maar geen doorlopende kosten en andere fondsuitgaven.

De informatie in dit artikel mag niet worden beschouwd als een beleggingsadvies.

Voor promotiedoeleinden.


Belangrijke informatie

Lees de volgende belangrijke informatie over fondsen die vermeld worden in dit artikel.

Janus Henderson Absolute Return Income Fund

For institutional/ sophisticated investors / accredited investors qualified distributors use only.

All content in this document is for information or general use only and is not specific to any individual client requirements. The information contained in this document is referential and may not be construed as an offer, invitation or recommendation or investment advice, nor should be taken as a basis to take (or stop taking) any decision.

Janus Henderson Capital Funds Plc is a UCITS established under Irish law, with segregated liability between funds. Investors are warned that they should only make their investments based on the most recent Prospectus which contains information about fees, expenses and risks, which is available from all distributors and paying agents, it should be read carefully. An investment in the fund may not be suitable for all investors and is not available to all investors in all jurisdictions; it is not available to US persons.  Past performance is not indicative of future results. The rate of return may vary and the principal value of an investment will fluctuate due to market and foreign exchange movements.  Shares, if redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Janus Henderson Group plc and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any unlawful distribution of this document to any third parties, in whole or in part, or for information reconstructed from this document and do not guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, or make any warranties with regards to the results obtained from its use. As with all investments, there are inherent risks that each individual should address.

The distribution of this document or the information contained in it may be restricted by law and may not be used in any jurisdiction or any circumstances in which its use would be unlawful.

Issued in Europe by Janus Capital International Limited (“JCIL”), authorised and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. Janus Capital International Limited (“JCIL”) is an entity registered and operating under the laws of the United Kingdom and Janus Capital Funds plc. is registered under the legislation of Ireland.

The extract prospectus (edition for Switzerland), the articles of incorporation, the extract annual and semi-annual report, in German, can be obtained free of charge from the representative in Switzerland: First Independent Fund Services Ltd (“FIFS”), Klausstrasse 33, CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland, tel: +41 44 206 16 40, fax: +41 44 206 16 41, web: http://www.fifs.ch. The Swiss paying agent is: Banque Cantonale de Genève, 17, quai de l’Ile, CH-1204 Geneva. The last share prices can be found on www.fundinfo.com. For Qualified investors, institutional, wholesale client use only. Outside of Switzerland, this document is for professional use only. Not for onward distribution.

This presentation is strictly private and confidential and may not be reproduced or used for any purpose other than evaluation of a potential investment in Janus Capital International Limited’s products or the procurement of its services by the recipient of this presentation or provided to any person or entity other than the recipient of this presentation.

We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Janus Capital Management LLC serves as investment adviser. Janus, Intech and Perkins are registered trademarks of Janus International Holding LLC. © Janus International Holding LLC. For more information or to locate your country’s Janus representative contact information, please visit www.janushenderson.com.

Specifieke risico's

  • Dit fonds is ontworpen om slechts als één component van meerdere te worden gebruikt in een gediversifieerde beleggingsportefeuille. Beleggers moeten zorgvuldig het deel van hun portefeuille dat in dit fonds is belegd, overwegen.
  • ​Een emittent van een obligatie (of geldmarktinstrument) kan niet in staat of niet bereid zijn om rente te betalen of kapitaal terug te betalen aan het fonds. Als dit gebeurt of de markt ziet dat dit kan gebeuren, zal de waarde van de obligatie dalen.
  • Het fonds kan derivaten gebruiken om zijn beleggingsdoelstelling te bereiken. Dit kan resulteren in 'een hefboomwerking', wat een beleggingsresultaat kan vergroten en winsten of verliezen voor het fonds kunnen groter zijn dan de kosten van het derivaat. Derivaten brengen ook andere risico's met zich mee, in het bijzonder dat een tegenpartij van een derivaat, zijn contractuele verplichtingen misschien niet nakomt.
  • Als het fonds activa aanhoudt in andere valuta dan de basisvaluta van het fonds of u belegt in een aandelenklasse van een andere valuta dan het fonds (tenzij 'afgedekt'), kan de waarde van uw belegging beïnvloed worden door wisselkoersschommelingen.
  • Wanneer de rente stijgt (of daalt), zullen de prijzen van verschillende effecten anders worden beïnvloed. In het bijzonder dalen de obligatiewaarden doorgaans wanneer de rentetarieven stijgen. Dit risico is over het algemeen groter naarmate de looptijd van een obligatie-investering langer is.
  • Effecten binnen het fonds kunnen moeilijk te waarderen of te verkopen zijn op een gewenst tijdstip en op een bepaalde prijs, vooral in extreme marktomstandigheden waarin de prijzen van activa kunnen dalen, waardoor het risico van beleggingsverliezen toeneemt.

Risicoklasse

SRRI 2

Janus Henderson Absolute Return Income Fund (EUR)

For institutional/ sophisticated investors / accredited investors qualified distributors use only.

All content in this document is for information or general use only and is not specific to any individual client requirements. The information contained in this document is referential and may not be construed as an offer, invitation or recommendation or investment advice, nor should be taken as a basis to take (or stop taking) any decision.

Janus Henderson Capital Funds Plc is a UCITS established under Irish law, with segregated liability between funds. Investors are warned that they should only make their investments based on the most recent Prospectus which contains information about fees, expenses and risks, which is available from all distributors and paying agents, it should be read carefully. An investment in the fund may not be suitable for all investors and is not available to all investors in all jurisdictions; it is not available to US persons.  Past performance is not indicative of future results. The rate of return may vary and the principal value of an investment will fluctuate due to market and foreign exchange movements.  Shares, if redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Janus Henderson Group plc and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any unlawful distribution of this document to any third parties, in whole or in part, or for information reconstructed from this document and do not guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, or make any warranties with regards to the results obtained from its use. As with all investments, there are inherent risks that each individual should address.

The distribution of this document or the information contained in it may be restricted by law and may not be used in any jurisdiction or any circumstances in which its use would be unlawful.

Issued in Europe by Janus Capital International Limited (“JCIL”), authorised and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. Janus Capital International Limited (“JCIL”) is an entity registered and operating under the laws of the United Kingdom and Janus Capital Funds plc. is registered under the legislation of Ireland.

The extract prospectus (edition for Switzerland), the articles of incorporation, the extract annual and semi-annual report, in German, can be obtained free of charge from the representative in Switzerland: First Independent Fund Services Ltd (“FIFS”), Klausstrasse 33, CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland, tel: +41 44 206 16 40, fax: +41 44 206 16 41, web: http://www.fifs.ch. The Swiss paying agent is: Banque Cantonale de Genève, 17, quai de l’Ile, CH-1204 Geneva. The last share prices can be found on www.fundinfo.com. For Qualified investors, institutional, wholesale client use only. Outside of Switzerland, this document is for professional use only. Not for onward distribution.

This presentation is strictly private and confidential and may not be reproduced or used for any purpose other than evaluation of a potential investment in Janus Capital International Limited’s products or the procurement of its services by the recipient of this presentation or provided to any person or entity other than the recipient of this presentation.

We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Janus Capital Management LLC serves as investment adviser. Janus, Intech and Perkins are registered trademarks of Janus International Holding LLC. © Janus International Holding LLC. For more information or to locate your country’s Janus representative contact information, please visit www.janushenderson.com.

Specifieke risico's

  • ​Een emittent van een obligatie (of geldmarktinstrument) kan niet in staat of niet bereid zijn om rente te betalen of kapitaal terug te betalen aan het fonds. Als dit gebeurt of de markt ziet dat dit kan gebeuren, zal de waarde van de obligatie dalen.
  • Het fonds kan derivaten gebruiken om zijn beleggingsdoelstelling te bereiken. Dit kan resulteren in 'een hefboomwerking', wat een beleggingsresultaat kan vergroten en winsten of verliezen voor het fonds kunnen groter zijn dan de kosten van het derivaat. Derivaten brengen ook andere risico's met zich mee, in het bijzonder dat een tegenpartij van een derivaat, zijn contractuele verplichtingen misschien niet nakomt.
  • Als het fonds activa aanhoudt in andere valuta dan de basisvaluta van het fonds of u belegt in een aandelenklasse van een andere valuta dan het fonds (tenzij 'afgedekt'), kan de waarde van uw belegging beïnvloed worden door wisselkoersschommelingen.
  • Wanneer de rente stijgt (of daalt), zullen de prijzen van verschillende effecten anders worden beïnvloed. In het bijzonder dalen de obligatiewaarden doorgaans wanneer de rentetarieven stijgen. Dit risico is over het algemeen groter naarmate de looptijd van een obligatie-investering langer is.
  • Effecten binnen het fonds kunnen moeilijk te waarderen of te verkopen zijn op een gewenst tijdstip en op een bepaalde prijs, vooral in extreme marktomstandigheden waarin de prijzen van activa kunnen dalen, waardoor het risico van beleggingsverliezen toeneemt.

Risicoklasse

SRRI 4

Janus Henderson Absolute Return Income Opportunities Fund

For institutional/ sophisticated investors / accredited investors qualified distributors use only.

All content in this document is for information or general use only and is not specific to any individual client requirements. The information contained in this document is referential and may not be construed as an offer, invitation or recommendation or investment advice, nor should be taken as a basis to take (or stop taking) any decision.

Janus Henderson Capital Funds Plc is a UCITS established under Irish law, with segregated liability between funds. Investors are warned that they should only make their investments based on the most recent Prospectus which contains information about fees, expenses and risks, which is available from all distributors and paying agents, it should be read carefully. An investment in the fund may not be suitable for all investors and is not available to all investors in all jurisdictions; it is not available to US persons.  Past performance is not indicative of future results. The rate of return may vary and the principal value of an investment will fluctuate due to market and foreign exchange movements.  Shares, if redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Janus Henderson Group plc and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any unlawful distribution of this document to any third parties, in whole or in part, or for information reconstructed from this document and do not guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, or make any warranties with regards to the results obtained from its use. As with all investments, there are inherent risks that each individual should address.

The distribution of this document or the information contained in it may be restricted by law and may not be used in any jurisdiction or any circumstances in which its use would be unlawful.

Issued in Europe by Janus Capital International Limited (“JCIL”), authorised and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. Janus Capital International Limited (“JCIL”) is an entity registered and operating under the laws of the United Kingdom and Janus Capital Funds plc. is registered under the legislation of Ireland.

The extract prospectus (edition for Switzerland), the articles of incorporation, the extract annual and semi-annual report, in German, can be obtained free of charge from the representative in Switzerland: First Independent Fund Services Ltd (“FIFS”), Klausstrasse 33, CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland, tel: +41 44 206 16 40, fax: +41 44 206 16 41, web: http://www.fifs.ch. The Swiss paying agent is: Banque Cantonale de Genève, 17, quai de l’Ile, CH-1204 Geneva. The last share prices can be found on www.fundinfo.com. For Qualified investors, institutional, wholesale client use only. Outside of Switzerland, this document is for professional use only. Not for onward distribution.

This presentation is strictly private and confidential and may not be reproduced or used for any purpose other than evaluation of a potential investment in Janus Capital International Limited’s products or the procurement of its services by the recipient of this presentation or provided to any person or entity other than the recipient of this presentation.

We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Janus Capital Management LLC serves as investment adviser. Janus, Intech and Perkins are registered trademarks of Janus International Holding LLC. © Janus International Holding LLC. For more information or to locate your country’s Janus representative contact information, please visit www.janushenderson.com.

Specifieke risico's

  • Een deel van de of de volledige jaarlijkse managementkosten en andere kosten van het fonds kunnen uit het kapitaal gehaald worden, waardoor het kapitaal kan eroderen of de potentie voor kapitaalgroei kan verlagen.
  • Dit fonds is ontworpen om slechts als één component van meerdere te worden gebruikt in een gediversifieerde beleggingsportefeuille. Beleggers moeten zorgvuldig het deel van hun portefeuille dat in dit fonds is belegd, overwegen.
  • Als een fonds een hoge blootstelling aan een zeker land of zekere geografische regio heeft, draagt het fonds een hoger risiconiveau dan een fonds dat breder gevarieerd is.
  • ​Een emittent van een obligatie (of geldmarktinstrument) kan niet in staat of niet bereid zijn om rente te betalen of kapitaal terug te betalen aan het fonds. Als dit gebeurt of de markt ziet dat dit kan gebeuren, zal de waarde van de obligatie dalen.
  • Het fonds kan derivaten gebruiken om zijn beleggingsdoelstelling te bereiken. Dit kan resulteren in 'een hefboomwerking', wat een beleggingsresultaat kan vergroten en winsten of verliezen voor het fonds kunnen groter zijn dan de kosten van het derivaat. Derivaten brengen ook andere risico's met zich mee, in het bijzonder dat een tegenpartij van een derivaat, zijn contractuele verplichtingen misschien niet nakomt.
  • ​Opkomende markten stellen het fonds bloot aan hogere volatiliteit en een groter risico op verlies dan ontwikkelde markten; ze zijn vatbaar voor ongunstige politieke en economische gebeurtenissen en kunnen minder goed worden gereguleerd met minder robuuste bewarings- en afwikkelingsprocedures.
  • Als het fonds activa aanhoudt in andere valuta dan de basisvaluta van het fonds of u belegt in een aandelenklasse van een andere valuta dan het fonds (tenzij 'afgedekt'), kan de waarde van uw belegging beïnvloed worden door wisselkoersschommelingen.
  • ​Het fonds belegt in hoogrentende (niet van beleggingskwaliteit) obligaties en hoewel deze doorgaans hogere rentetarieven bieden dan obligaties van beleggingskwaliteit, zijn ze meer speculatief en gevoeliger voor ongunstige veranderingen in de marktomstandigheden.
  • Wanneer de rente stijgt (of daalt), zullen de prijzen van verschillende effecten anders worden beïnvloed. In het bijzonder dalen de obligatiewaarden doorgaans wanneer de rentetarieven stijgen. Dit risico is over het algemeen groter naarmate de looptijd van een obligatie-investering langer is.
  • Effecten binnen het fonds kunnen moeilijk te waarderen of te verkopen zijn op een gewenst tijdstip en op een bepaalde prijs, vooral in extreme marktomstandigheden waarin de prijzen van activa kunnen dalen, waardoor het risico van beleggingsverliezen toeneemt.

Risicoklasse

SRRI 5

Deel

Attentie