Fund Flows & Issuance: According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$5.3 billion and year to date flows stand at $16.6 billion. New issuance for the week was $8.9 billion and year to date issuance is at $142.9 billion.
(Bloomberg) High Yield Market Highlights
- Wesco International Inc. is poised to round out a busy month for the high-yield market. Its $2.825b deal is slated to price Friday, which could make May the third busiest month on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
- Issuance month-to-date stands at $41b. Wesco’s issue would boost that to almost $44b
- Junk bonds have had a strong month with spreads tightening amid billions of cash inflows. S. high yield funds reported an inflow of $5.3b for the week
- High-yield spreads tightened 12bps to +631bps, the lowest since March 10. Yields fell below 7% for the first time since March to 6.97%
- “Spreads have rallied meaningfully over the past two weeks in response to reopening optimism, supportive market technicals, and macro data that have been better than feared,” Barclays Plc credit strategist Brad Rogoff wrote in a note on Friday
- While spreads may tighten more in the near term, longer-term risks remain, he said
- Other would- be borrowers may stay on the sidelines Friday with stock futures slipping amid tensions between the US and China.
- The junk bond rally continued with the index now gaining for eight straight sessions, the longest winning streak since January. It posted returns of 0.46% on Thursday
- CCCs were the best performers with returns of 0.84%. Spreads declined the most in six weeks to close at +1,198, while yields closed at 12.87%
- “Spreads for the lowest rated portion of the market have seemingly compressed toward the rest of high yield,” Barclays’ Rogoff wrote
- The rally was partly driven by constituent changes such as defaults, rating actions, and new issue
- “They do not look nearly as rich when accounting for these changes,” Rogoff wrote
(Bloomberg) Williams Says Fed Thinking ‘Hard’ About Yield-Curve Control
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said policy makers are “thinking very hard” about targeting specific yields on Treasury securities as a way of ensuring borrowing costs stay at rock-bottom levels beyond keeping the benchmark interest rate near zero.
- “Yield-curve control, which has now been used in a few other countries, is I think a tool that can complement -– potentially complement –- forward guidance and our other policy actions,” he said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television with Michael McKee and Jonathan Ferro. “So this is something that obviously we’re thinking very hard about. We’re analyzing not only what’s happened in other countries but also how that may work in the United States.”
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams says the Fed will use all of its available tools to best achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.
- Yield-curve control — where the central bank caps yields on government bonds of a chosen maturity through potentially unlimited purchases — has been used by Japan for years to stimulate economic activity and was recently adopted in Australia. Investors see the Fed embracing the tool in coming months as policy makers turn their attention toward fostering a strong rebound from the severe downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- While May or June might mark the low point, “even if we are starting to see perhaps a stabilization there in terms of the economy and maybe a little bit of a pickup, we’re still in a very difficult situation,” Williams said.
(Wall Street Journal) U.S. Rebukes Beijing On Hong Kong — Pompeo says state isn’t autonomous, in move imperiling its special trade status
- The U.S. no longer believes Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy from China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement likely to unsettle the global financial center and certain to aggravate Beijing.
- The determination, announced Wednesday and required under federal law, amounted to a U.S. condemnation of China’s announcement of plans to impose greater control over Hong Kong, a move that triggered renewed protests against Beijing.
- The State Department under a 1992 law must assess the extent of the former British territory’s autonomy from China. It certified to Congress on Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous.
- The decision opens the way for President Trump to take a range of possible measures, from revoking special arrangements on trade to imposing sanctions on people involved in suppressing civil liberties in the city.
- A Chinese spokeswoman in Washington accused the U.S. of meddling in its internal affairs and said pending national-security legislation that triggered the protests had no effect on Hong Kong’s autonomy or the rights of residents and foreign investors. “We will take necessary countermeasures in response,” she said.