Insights

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

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.

G-3 Economies Should Continue Relatively Firm

In our view, the G-3 economies will fare reasonably well, and basically match the current consensus in the next few quarters; however, there will be significant challenges for each region.

Our logic for the Fed hiking in October and thereafter

For the time being, we are not estimating a date for reducing the Fed’s balance sheet, but a 2Q16 initiation seems quite logical at this stage.

Forecasting a Stronger USD and Higher Bond Yields

Although we expected G-3 bond yields to rise, they did so less than we predicted in our June meeting. We expect yields to rise moderately further for the next two quarters.

Why Neutral Global Equities, with US Underweight, but Japan and Europe Overweight?

Our forecasted macro-backdrop scenario has mixed ramifications for global equities, with the US declining but most other regions rising, and it is likely to be very volatile ride

Valuation in a Post-QE World

Markets and economies are still being dictated to by unprecedented levels of monetary stimulus. We believe in building a portfolio of companies that are more likely to flourish in the growth environment beyond 2015.

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.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - September 2015

Asian equities fell 9.8%, underperforming the MSCI AC World Index by 3.2%, in USD terms. This marked the worst monthly performance for MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index since May 2012.

Looking at how Japanese companies fared with their April-June quarterly earnings, we can see that automobile manufacturers and major electronics producers posted large profit growth on the back of the weak yen and strong sales in the North American market.

Japan's "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance - September 2015

We explain how Abenomics is the "icing on the cake" of corporate governance improvement over the last decade.

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.

Economic Disappointment in Japan? Key points to remember (again)

As has long been our view, disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.

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.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - August 2015

Asian equities fell 6.3%, underperforming the MSCI AC World Index by 8.1% in USD terms. MSCI EM Asia Index was down 6.9% in USD terms, its worst monthly performance since May 2012.

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.

Abe administration's 2015-version growth strategy: Focus on productivity

We will be watching to see how companies respond this year to the Corporate Governance Code, specifically the twin issues of selling cross-shareholdings and improving capital efficiency.

India: Our Debate on Key Issues

India is a key market to watch in the coming years. Our expert on India, Andrew Holland, CEO of Nikko AM's joint venture there, discusses with Simon Down of our UK fixed income team the forecast for reforms in the country, with some surprising conclusions.

Iron Ore: Supply has arrived but where is the demand?

What lies ahead for iron ore prices, particularly with the Chinese economy slowing and undergoing a transition away from a materials-intensive economy to a consumption-driven economy?

Greece: the Potential Victory from this Defeat

Like many countries that have previously refused to reform at all levels, sometimes it takes a true crisis to change.

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.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - July 2015

The MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan fell -3.7 % in June in USD terms, lagging the MSCI AC World by 1.4%. Asia ex-Japan markets continued to give up year-to-date gains in June as the old adage of sell in May and go away continued to hold true.

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.

China: Now and tomorrow

Nikko AM Asia views the recent corrections in Chinese equities, particularly in the onshore markets, as healthy given the sharp increases in value that had occurred due to a frenzied retail market intoxicated by relatively cheap margin financing.

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.

Market Commentary – China: Now and Tomorrow

Reforms have been a key element of the Chinese leadership and we foresee a continuation of policies aimed at eradicating state inefficiencies and corruption; liberalise and prepare capital markets for more competition; address labour mobility and encourage urbanisation, to name a few.

G-3 Economies Should Continue Rebounding

We believe the global economy should be quite firm for the next year, but not so strong as to cause inflation concerns.

Central Banks: Our Logic For Fed Hiking Three Times This Year

We have a non-consensus, but completely sound call for a more aggressive Fed, whereas we expect the ECB and BOJ to maintain their current aggressive easing program.

Forecasts for Stronger USD and Moderately Rising Global Yields

Despite good global economic growth, other commodity prices will likely remain quite flat in our view, partially due to a stronger USD.

Asset Class Forecasts: Maintain Overweight Global Equities

We calculate that equity valuations are at fair levels and that stocks can grow along with earnings.

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.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - June 2015

The MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan returned -2.6% in May, lagging the MSCI AC World by 2.9%, in USD terms.Asian equities underperformed other Emerging Markets (EMs), particularly Brazil and Russia, which rallied sharply.

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.

Japan’s nominal GDP, commonly used to gauge a country’s real standard of living, has remained mostly unchanged since the 1990s following the collapse of Japan’s asset price bubble and the onset of deflation.

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.

Japan's “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance - June 2015

We expect that profit margins will expand further in coming quarters, driven by a large corporate tax cut and continued industry rationalizations that further prove that Japan's structural profitability trend continues upward.

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.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - May 2015

Yields of the US Treasuries (USTs) traded in a relatively tight range, eventually ending higher at month-end. At 2.03%, the 10-year point on the UST curve was up 11 basis points (bps) compared to the level at end-March.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - May 2015

The MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan returned 7.2% in April after shrugging off initial weakness and outperformed the MSCI AC World by 2.3% in April in USD terms.

The Japanese stock market has continued to rise, punctuated by the Nikkei 225 recently closing above 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years.

Japanese Overseas Equity Exposure Rising

We expect that Japanese pension funds will continue to shift their investments into risky assets in 2015.

Low oil prices: Saudi Arabia can afford to bide its time

Oil-producing countries have seen the largest drop in their foreign exchange (FX) holdings over the last year. In our view, Saudi Arabia can afford to handle oil prices at their current level for some time but ...

China's LGFV debt swap – Shining light on the Shadows

The importance of President Xi Jinping's strong leadership cannot be stressed enough. Under him China is undergoing dramatic changes. While the most thorough cleansing of state corruption is ongoing, elements of China's grand strategy are becoming more evident both domestically and on the global stage.