Fixed Income

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - May 2017

10-year US Treasury (UST) yields ended the month at 2.28%, about 11 basis points (bps) lower compared to end-March levels. Mixed economic data and rising geopolitical tensions drove sentiment over the month.

Japan in Motion: What does the future hold?

We believe that Abenomics is working, however we feel that its success cannot be determined by viewing government policy frameworks in isolation.

Green Bonds – The Next Global Disrupter?

Steve Williams, the Portfolio Manager responsible for Green Bonds in Nikko AM’s London office, examines how this burgeoning asset class is likely to develop into a mainstream part of global fixed income portfolios.

Forbes: Why The Yen Should Not Strengthen In A Crisis

“Any major crisis in the Northeast Asian region, especially one involving a crisis within Japan’s borders, is likely to be handled very aggressively by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), with it bending the rule-book as much as the Fed did during the Global Financial Crisis or as the ECB has done in the past five years.”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

“We all have heard of the term 'interest rate repression' for how central banks have kept rates at ultra-low levels, but this has only been successfully maintained due to what I call 'inflation repression.'”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

Japan’s Inflation and Monetary Policy Outlook

Our Tokyo Fixed Income team explains its view on the Japanese labor market and its effect on consumer inflation and Bank of Japan policy.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - April 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields rose in the first half of the month buoyed by hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve (Fed), a solid US jobs report and possible scale back of quantitative easing (QE) by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Five Charts to Watch

As commodity prices have risen, the Australian economy is set to benefit from these continuing gains.

House View: Continued Economic and Equity Reflation

The Global Investment Committee remains optimistic about global economy and equity markets despite their recent strong equity rallies and increased political risks.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - March 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields traded in a tight range in February. Risk assets rallied and UST yields rose in the first half of the month, on the back of the prospect of tax cuts and a Dodd-Frank overhaul in the US.

Asia Credit - A New Major Global Asset Class

Asia’s Credit market has come a long way since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1998, having evolved into a large, deep and liquid market.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - February 2017

With President Trump announcing that he will be releasing his tax plans in the coming weeks, we have shifted to a more cautious position on US duration. The risk is that President Trump announces a sizeable stimulus package, with the backing of the broad Republican base.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - February 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields ended higher in January as weaker-than-expected payroll data led markets to moderate their forecasts for Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes in 2017.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Monthly Outlook - January 2017

Credit markets are expected to have another positive year. We expect economic growth in Asia to be stable but see some potential downside risks.

A Dynamic Approach to Managing Credit Risk

Global economic, credit and interest rate cycles are becoming desynchronised. In this paper, we introduce Nikko AM’s first generation default probability model for corporates.

Asian Credit Outlook 2017

In-depth report: Economic growth in Asia is expected to remain broadly stable in 2017. While there will be greater external uncertainties as well as country-specific challenges, Asian economies are, on balance, better equipped to deal with external pressures compared to a few years back.

Emerging Market Debt Outlook 2017

Our Senior Portfolio Manager for Emerging Market Debt in London forecasts that in 2017, this asset class could well match 2016’s achievement.

Turkey on a Knife's Edge

Our London-based expert on Turkey updates his views on the precarious situation there.

Global Credit Market Outlook 2017

As rates could rise further in 2017, we expect that a broad range of investment themes will help generate enough alpha performance to offset the rates impact.

Asia Credit - A Separate Allocation

Why Asia Credit should stand alone from Global Emerging Market Debt.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - January 2017

USTs weakened further in December, as caution prevailed following the November sell-off. As widely expected, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 25 basis points (bps).

House View: Bullish on Global Equities and the USD in 2017

Nikko AM's Global Investment Committee's 2017 Outlook — More Economic and Equity Reflation, Despite Less Dovish Central Banks

How Trump seals China’s policy trilemma

Our China Fixed Income expert in Singapore expounds upon how the Trump election is forcing China into taking specific economic policies.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - December 2016

UST yields surged in the month as Trump's election victory prompted expectations of a significant fiscal package and possible upside inflation risk under the new administration.

Five Charts to Keep an Eye On – Making sense of this unique investment environment

Following the US election, we have seen bond rates continuing to increase, a stronger US dollar, firmer commodity prices, and a US stock market at all-time highs. Is optimism around the US President-elect’s fiscal expansion masking the true deflationary picture?

Italian Referendum: Nikko AM Europe Fixed Income Commentary

We expect Italian assets to underperform until it becomes clear who will be able to form and lead a new government. Nevertheless the outcome of the referendum was already priced into financial markets.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - November 2016

October was another difficult month for Global credit markets, in particular for Investment Grade bonds. By contrast, more risky High Yield bonds outperformed.

Trump Win: Surprise, but Not an Accident

Neither Brexit nor Trump’s win was an accident – ‘the people’, in particular the working and middle classes, are purposefully and deliberately giving the political elites a thump on the nose.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - November 2016

USTs ended lower in October. Better US economic data and a hawkish statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) bolstered expectations of a December interest rate hike.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - October 2016

USTs ended September mixed. While the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and the Bank of Japan reinforced commitment to monetary easing, the ECB's lack of new stimulus disappointed the market.

It has continued to be a wild roller-coaster ride for investors, and unfortunately, it is not likely to be very calm for the foreseeable future. Investors must keep a keen eye on geopolitical risk and be ready to act if such appear to accelerate into a situation that could significantly impact markets.

Only central banks can break the cycle of ever-declining bond yields

QE policies have had a material impact on bond yields and valuations. We believe that the evolution of these policies will be more important than fundamentals in indicating when bonds can break the cycle of ever-declining yields.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - September 2016

Central bank policy from the US, Japan and Europe are strongly affecting the current global fixed income markets. New Zealand and Canadian economies also face continued pressure.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - September 2016

USTs ended marginally lower in August as the market adjusted to the possibility of a Fed rate hike, buoyed by sustained resilience in the labour market.

Is this the end of the 35-year bond rally?

Many market commentators have been speculating that we are finally coming to the end of the bond rally that has endured for the past 35 years. It's worth noting that this is nothing new—we have heard similar suggestions many times before over recent years.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - August 2016

In developed markets, global bonds have benefited from recent flows out of Japan into positive-yielding markets. The New Zealand and Canadian economies face continued pressure and a September US rate rise is now looking more unlikely.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - August 2016

US Treasury (UST) yields ended July mixed: yields of shorter maturities climbed, whilse those of longer maturities fell.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - July 2016

The major consideration for markets in June was the Brexit vote in the UK. Although we are sceptical about the most pessimistic scenarios for the UK, there will be some negative impact on growth.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - July 2016

US Treasury (UST) yields gained in a volatile mon across asset classes. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) scaled back projections for raising interest rates, while the UK voted to leave the EU by a 4% margin, surprising markets.

Attraction of Emerging Market Debt

Emerging Market reforms won't stop or pause with the current market recovery.

What does Brexit mean for Emerging Markets?

Following our analysis of the recent UK vote, our Emerging Market debt team in London discusses Brexit's potential ramifications for this asset class.

Brexit - Asian Fixed Income Update

The immediate fallout from the Brexit win has been a strong flight to safety. US Treasuries rallied with the UST 10-year yield down to 1.44%, lower by 31 basis points (bps) on 27 June 2016.

Brexit: Outlook for Global Fixed Income & Credit

Uncertainty after Brexit vote, but the correction in valuations and market volatility could provide buying opportunities in some fundamentally strong credits.

Brexit: Where to now for markets?

Although it is still too early to determine the full implications of Brexit over the longer term, in the short term, we can expect significant market volatility as uncertainty prevails, but this does not mean that investors should panic.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - June 2016

US Treasury yields remained largely unchanged in May. The impact of a disappointing US payroll figure was offset by the release of the US Federal Reserve’s April meeting minutes, which revealed that most policymakers favoured a rate hike in June should the US economy continue to improve.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - June 2016

Continued easy monetary policy in Europe and Japan will be supportive for global interest rates, but the case for further limited rate hikes in the US remains in place for 2016.

Global Oil Update: Continuing positive outlook or flash in the pan?

Our oil experts in London and New York update their bullish views in January with new facts, while retaining their positive intermediate-term view on oil prices.

Fed rate rise most likely in September, but could be delayed until 2017

Our global rates and currencies strategist in Australia lays out his dovish Fed scenario as an alternative to our house view. In it, he expects the Fed to wait until September or later to raise rates, and states his case that the Fed’s actions do not affect US bond yields.

Abenomics is Alive and Well

Our Chief Global Strategist explains the reasons why there is too much unjustified pessimism about Abenomics.

The Subtle Shift in Asian Currencies from the Dollar to the Renminbi

Our Asian currency expert discusses the potential ramifications of the increasing CNY-orientation for Asian currencies.

Which Matters More for Credit Spreads: Fundamentals or QE?

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.

Global Credit Outlook

For the next 12 months, we are quite positive on performance prospect for global credit, singling out five investment themes.

G-3 and Chinese Economies Moderately Firmer in 2016

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.

Fed in June and December, but ECB or BOJ Slight Easing

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.

Is it time to get back into credit?

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.

Globalisation has reduced US monetary policy independence

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.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - March 2016

5-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month lower, at 1.21% and 1.74% respectively. Cautious sentiment around falling oil prices and the prospect of a delay in US Federal Reserve interest rate increases supported US Treasuries (USTs) over the month.

Our Global Credit Strategy: Seeking Services

Our Global Credit staff in London detail their rationale behind concentrating on service sector exposure globally.

Asian Local Government Bond Outlook 2016

In 2015, the US Federal Reserve began the process of interest rate normalisation. Short-term bonds underperformed long duration bonds, on expectations of the ongoing US economic recovery remaining weak, and US inflation being anchored at current low levels.

Renminbi: A one-off devaluation or free float in 2016?

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.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - February 2016

2-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month lower, at 0.78% and 1.92%. Concerns that China could be embarking on a devaluation path curbed investors' risk appetite and supported demand safe-haven assets.

It's All About the Dollar

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.

The BOJ's Bold Move is Not a Shot in a Currency War

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.

Is Saudi Arabia Finally Winning the Global Oil War?

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 oilfs price swoon could be over.

What is the Outlook for the Yuan?

Our Singapore fixed income team expounds on the outlook for this clearly globally important factor.

Asian Credit Outlook 2016

2015 has been a tumultuous year with a plethora of risk events spurring significant volatility across most asset classes.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - January 2016

2-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended 2015 higher at 1.05% and 2.27%. These come after the US central bank raised ist interest rates and pledged a gradual pace of increases.

The Fed was even more Dovish than Apparent in the Headlines

John Vail reflects on the Fed decision and the path forward. The Fed was even more dovish than apparent in the headlines.

US & China Economies Sturdy in 2016; So-So for EZ and Japan

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.

Fed Normalization, but not ECB or BOJ

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.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - December 2015

US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month higher. October non-farm payrolls indicated a surge in job growth, keeping the US Federal Reserve (Fed) on course for a possible rate hike in December.

Divergent monetary policy in US and Europe: Can it last?

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 Japan Update – The Japanese Government’s Objectives for TPP

A framework agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was reached in October 2015, and the governments of participant countries are working to ratify the agreement and formally launch the partnership.

What's to come? - China's RMB as a global reserve currency

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.

Australia: Lower GDP growth and CPI should mean lower 10-year bond yields

Our lead Australian fixed income portfolio manager discusses her intermediate-term outlook for the bond market “down under.”

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - November 2015

Prices of the US Treasuries (USTs) ended the month lower. Risk-on sentiment prevailed for the most part of October, favouring risk assets over perceived "safe-haven" instruments.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - October 2015

US Treasuries (USTs) registered gains in September. Yields initially trade in a tight range, but subsequently jumped mid-month, in anticipation of the announcement from the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

What Investment Themes Will Drive Credit Markets?

What Investment Themes Will Drive Credit Markets?

A better supply/demand balance in Europe, outperformance of “high yield“ globally, positive event-risk in the telecom sector and opportunities in local currencies, as well as other credit related investment themes, all present interesting opportunities for generating positive returns, even in a challenging environment.

Sifting Through The Ruble: Global Commodity Currencies

Our Nikko Asset Management fixed income experts, led by Simon Down, discuss the prospects for commodity currencies.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - September 2015

US Treasury (UST) yield curve, along with other asset classes, experienced volatile swings in August. The Chinese central bank’s announcement that it would modify the approach to setting the CNY fixing midpoint effectively weakened the currency against the USD.

Zooming in on the Pacific Decade: China's Devaluation

A concentrated, stock-picking approach is the best way to serve a long-term investor's goal of capital appreciation

Fintech Evolution in China

The internet revolution is coming to the financial sector, addressing inefficiencies in current system and business models. In China’s case we are witnessing a combination of financial liberalisation with an internet revolution in the financial sector.

US rate rises unlikely to have significant impact on 10-year Treasuries

Even though the current term premium on US Treasuries seems too low, it is unlikely to rise significantly unless offshore bond yields start to rise.

Why did China devalue the renminbi?

While RMB weakness will likely persist for a few months, we don't expect the currency to devalue more than 10% versus USD and we maintain our confidence that the currency will be included into the IMF SDR basket in a year from now.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - August 2015

US Treasury (UST) yield curve bull flattened in July, as yields of short-dated USTs rose on Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairperson Janet Yellen’s statement that interest rates are likely to rise later this year while the yields of longer-dated USTs fell on the weakening inflation outlook.

Market Commentary – Asia Corporate High Yield Market Update

Spreads in Asian corporate high yields (HYs) have been impacted by recent market volatilities. Risk aversion ruled the market after the surprise change in RMB fixing rule which led to concerns on the weakening growth in China and its impact on the emerging markets (EM) countries.

After the China devaluation, Asia currencies and equities broke down – in effect, catching down to some degree to Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, which had already been significant underperformers.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - July 2015

Yields of US Treasuries (USTs) bear steepened in June, with developments in Europe dominating sentiment. The 10-year Treasury eventually ended the month at 2.35%, 23 basis points (bps) higher compared to end May levels.

Views on the China equity market selloff – from an Asian Fixed Income perspective

The sharp equity market correction in recent weeks after a very strong run over the past year will not have a crisis-level impact to the broader economy.

The Implications of the RMB Inclusion in the IMF SDR

The IMF has been supportive of China's attempt to be included, but has not indicated that it recommends it. Furthermore, there is a risk that most of these reforms are too new for the IMF to judge whether they are effective or sustainable.

Nikko AM Asia views the recent market corrections in Chinese equities, particularly in the onshore markets, as healthy given the sharp advance on account of a frenzied retail market intoxicated by the relatively cheap margin financing.

Bond market sell-off may look like 2003, but it shouldn't be as bad for US Treasuries

Although the recent bond market sell-off may remind the market of 2003, we don’t believe US bonds will be as badly affected. By comparing the worst US bond sell-offs since 2003, we estimate that the 10-year US Treasury yield could hit a high of 2.8-3.2% by October.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - June 2015

Yields of US Treasuries (USTs) rallied in May, with the 2-year and 10-year yields up 4 and 9 basis points (bps) respectively as compared to end-April levels.

Notwithstanding a brief rebound in yen strength in mid-June, the Japanese currency has continued its weakening trend against the U.S. dollar, with the yen recently dropping to its lowest level in over 12 years.

Will US rate hikes weigh on risk assets?

Real yields and inflation expectations currently suggest exceptionally low growth and low inflation far out into the future.

Does the price action of bunds signal an end to ultra low rates?

We do not expect the recent steepening of the bund yield curve to be the beginning of a sustained new trend. Moreover, Eurozone and German economic data, albeit improving, are not sufficient to support the higher bund yields on a sustained basis.

Did Asia's Central Banks Engage in the Global Currency War?

Since the Fed starting hinting at the normalization of interest rates a year ago, Asian central banks' foreign reserve accumulations - except for India and Hong Kong - have either incurred substantial losses or remained flat.

Recent yield rises don’t necessarily signal the end of bond market rally

With many markets having rallied from major support levels when they were in highly oversold positions, we believe that bond markets should stabilise or rally from current levels.