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5 Apr. 2016 The Great Front-Running in EZ Corporate Bonds Has Begun (Publication Centre)

Corporate bonds will not be included in the ECB's monthly QE purchases until the end of Q2, but markets are already preparing. The sale of non-financial corporate debt jumped to €49.4B in March, from about €25B in February, within touching distance of the record set in Q1 last year.

12 December 2017 Will the ECB Live to Regret Buying Corporate Bonds as Part of QE?EZ 12 December 2017 (Publication Centre)

Investors in euro-denominated corporate debt will be listening closely to Mr. Draghi this week for hints on how the ECB intends to balance QE between public and private debt next year.

3 August. 2016 Fundamentals Don't Matter For The EZ's Mighty Corporate Bonds (Publication Centre)

Debt issuance by Eurozone non-financial firms is soaring, consistent with the ECB's hope that adding private debt to QE would boost supply. Our first chart shows that the three-month sum of net debt sold in the euro area jumped to a new record of €60.3B in May. A short-term decline in issuance is a good bet after the initial euphoria in firms' treasury departments.

1 February 2017 Sharp Slowdown in Money Growth Consistent with Weaker 2017 GDP (Publication Centre)

December's money data brought clear signs that the economy's growth spurt in the second half of 2016 is about to come to an abrupt end. Growth in households' money holdings and borrowing slowed sharply in December, and the pick-up in corporate borrowing shortly after the MPC cut interest rates and announced corporate bond purchases, in August, has run out of steam already.

21 Apr. 2016 All Eyes on the Details of QE and TLTROs in Today's ECB Meeting (Publication Centre)

The ECB will keep its refinancing and deposit rates unchanged today, at 0.0% and -0.4% respectively. We also think the pace of QE will be held at €80B per month. Attention will turn instead to the details and implementation of the measures unveiled last month. Corporate bonds will be added to QE at the end of the second quarter, and monthly purchases of about €5-to-€10B per month are a realistic assumption.

26 May 2017 The ECB is in a Trap of its Own Making in EZ Private Debt Markets (Publication Centre)

We have warned that the ECB' decision to add corporate bonds to QE would lead to unprecedented market distortions. Evidence of this is now abundantly clear. The central bank has bought €82B-worth of corporate bonds in the past 11 months, and now holds more than 6% of the market. Assuming the central bank continues its purchases until the middle of next year, it will end up owning 13%-to-14% of the whole Eurozone corporate bond market.

15 Mar. 2016 Markets Embrace new ECB tools, but are getting the story wrong (Publication Centre)

Markets initially objected to last week's ECB package, but the tune has since changed. The decision to focus on direct credit easing to the domestic economy, via more attractive TLTROs and corporate bond purchases--rather than by lowering rates further--is now seen by many analysts as a stroke of genius.

15 December 2016 October's Surprising Labor Data Will Make the MPC Think, not Act (Publication Centre)

The Bank of England won't set markets alight today. We expect another 9-0 vote to leave rates unchanged at 0.25%, and to continue with the £50B of gilt purchases and $10B of corporate bond purchases announced in August. This is not to say, though, that everything is plain sailing for the Monetary Policy Committee.

20 May. 2016 Let the Good Times Roll in EZ Corporate Bond Markets (Publication Centre)

Markets have responded strongly to the ECB's announcement that it will be buying corporate bonds as part of QE. Net corporate debt issuance of non-financial firms jumped €16B in March, the biggest monthly increase since January 2014. The 12-month average, however, was stable at €3.6B, and a sustained increase in net debt supply partly depends on firms' appetite for financial engineering

6 Feb. 2015 The ECB increases the pressure on Greece (Publication Centre)

The decision by the ECB to remove the waiver for including Greek government bonds in standard refinancing operations changes little in the short run, as the banking system in Greece still has full access to the ELA. It does put additional pressure on Syriza, though, to abandon the position that it will exit the bailout on February the 28th, effectively pushing the economy into the abyss.

24 February 2017 The BCB Remains on Track to Deliver More Easing this Year (Publication Centre)

Brazil's central bank conformed to expectations on Wednesday, cutting the Selic rate by 75 basis points to 12.25%, without bias. Overall, the BCB recognises that the economic signals have been mixed in recent weeks, but the Copom echoed our view that the data are pointing to a gradual stabilisation and, ultimately, a recovery in GDP growth later this year.

24 January 2018 Government Bonds Can Cope With an End to QE. Can C orporates? (Publication Centre)

Bond markets didn't panic when the ECB announced its intention further to reduce the pace of QE this year, to €30B per month from €60B in 2017.

23 June 2017 PBoC is to the Chinese Yield Curve as Dr Frankenstein is to the Monster (Publication Centre)

China has undoubtedly been through a credit tightening, commonly explained as the PBoC attempting to engineer a squeeze, to spur on corporate deleveraging.

17 April 2018 China will Loosen the Macropru by Year-end, for now, it's Intense (Publication Centre)

China's March money and credit data, published last Friday, showed that conditions continue to tighten, posing a threat to GDP growth this year.

17 August 2018 China Talks Could Help Support The RMB But it Won't Last (Publication Centre)

China and the U.S. are officially to restart trade talks, according to China's Ministry of Commerce, after previous negotiations stalled in June.

21 August 2017 Growth Momentum and Slow Hikes Means no Recession Until 2019 (Publication Centre)

We have had something of a rethink about the likely timing of the coming cyclical downturn. Previously, we thought the economy would start to slow markedly in the middle of next year, with a mild recession--two quarters of modest declines in GDP-- beginning in the fourth quarter.

7 April 2017 What Place will QE have in the Bank's Future Policy Mix? (Publication Centre)

Markets were jolted yesterday by news that the U.S. Fed is mulling ending, or at least slowing, the reinvestment of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities later this year. Such a move would reduce liquidity in global markets that has underpinned soaring equity prices in recent years.

26 July. 2016 What Impact Would QE Have on Gilt Yields? (Publication Centre)

We think that the higher inflation outlook means that the MPC will dash hopes of unconventional stimulus on August 4 and instead will opt only to cut Bank Rate to 0.25%, from 0.50% currently. The minutes of July's MPC meeting show, however, that the MPC is mulling all the options. As a result, it is worth reviewing how a QE programme might be designed and what impact it might have on bond yields.

27 October 2017 The ECB Announces Reduced QE Next Year, and Markets Like It (Publication Centre)

The ECB broadly conformed to markets' expectations today. The central bank maintained its key refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and delivered the consensus package on QE.

4 October 2017 Can EZ Investors Still Exploit Monetary Policy Divergence? (Publication Centre)

Global monetary policy divergence has returned with a vengeance. In the U.S., despite recent soft CPI data, a resolute Fed has prompted markets to reprice rates across the curve.

28 June 2017 A Difficult Balancing Act for Mr. Draghi on Growth and Inflation (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's speech yesterday in Portugal, at the ECB forum on Central Banking, pushed the euro and EZ government bond yields higher. The markets' hawkish interpretation was linked to the president's comment that "The threat of deflation is gone and reflationary forces are at play."

27 Apr. 2016 Breaking News: Bund Yields are Going Up, and Could Rise Further (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the 25 basis points increase in 10-year German yields this month is modest. But the sell-off has reminded levered investors that trading benchmark securities in the Eurozone is not a one-way street. When yields are close to zero, investors also use leverage to enhance returns, and this increases volatility when the market turns.

17 April 2018 Can the ECB exit private QE without a hiccup? (Publication Centre)

We are fairly sanguine that government bond markets in the Eurozone will take the end of QE in their stride.

29 March 2017 The Alternative Interpretation of Political Uncertainty in the EZ (Publication Centre)

The presumption in markets is that the French presidential election is the last hurdle to be overcome in the EZ economy. As long as Marine Le Pen is kept out of l'Élysée, animal spirits will be released in the economy and financial markets. We concede that a Le Pen victory would result in chaos, at least in the short run. Bond spreads would widen, equities would crash and the euro would plummet. But we also suspect that such volatility would be short-lived, similar to the convulsions after Brexit.

26 October 2017 The ECB Will Signal its Intention to Extend and Reduce QE Today (Publication Centre)

The ECB will keep its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4% today, but we think the central bank will satisfy markets' expectations for more clarity on the QE program next year.

25 October 2018 What's the Target Mr. Draghi Headline or Core Inflation (Publication Centre)

The ECB will not make any major changes to policy today.

13 February 2018 China's Firms Mindful of Intensified Enforcement of Financial Regulation (Publication Centre)

Chinese monetary conditions remain tight. Systemic tightening through higher interest rates last year is playing a role, but intensified and ever- more public regulatory enforcement is becoming the primary driver of tightening credit conditions for businesses.

13 December 2018 Expect a Dovish Mr. Draghi Today, but Don't Bet Money on It (Publication Centre)

We suspect that today's ECB meeting will be a sideshow to the political chaos in the U.K., but that doesn't change the fact that the central bank's to-do list is long.

15 December 2017 The ECB's forecasts are wishful thinking (Publication Centre)

The ECB did its utmost not to say or do anything remotely novel today. The central bank kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.40%, respectively, and reiterated its plan for QE next year.

14 December 2018 Yesterday's ECB Meeting was a Vintage Performance by Mr. Draghi (Publication Centre)

The broad strokes of yesterday's ECB meeting were in line with markets' expectations. The central bank left its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and maintained the same forward guidance.

12 October 2017 The Catalan Government is on the Brink. Early Regional Elections? (Publication Centre)

We struggle to see how the pro-separatist movement in Catalonia can move forward from here.

14 June 2018 Chinese Monetary Conditions Point to Slowing Growth into Next Year (Publication Centre)

Chinese M2 growth was stable at 8.3% year- over-year in May, despite favorable base effects.

14 November 2017 Slowing Chinese Money Growth Points to Lower PPI Inflation (Publication Centre)

Chinese monetary conditions have tightened sharply in the past year. Conditions have stabilised in recent months but Fed policy normalisation implies the increase in the money stock should slow again in 2018.

05 August. 2015 Corporate Bonds are Struggling, But QE and ZIRP offer Support (Publication Centre)

A looming rate lift-off at the Fed, chaos in Greece, and a renewed rout in commodities have given credit markets plenty to worry about this year. The Bloomberg global high yield index is just about holding on to a 0.7% gain year-to-date, but down 2.5% since the middle of May. The picture carries over to the euro area where the sell-off is worse than during the taper tantrum in 2013.

15 May. 2015 QE Should Insulate Eurozone Credit Markets from Fed Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

Recent bond market volatility has left a significant mark on Eurozone credit markets. The recent slide in the Bloomberg composite index for Eurozone corporate bonds is the biggest since the U.S. taper tantrum in 2013. The prospect of a Fed hike later this year and rising inflation expectations in the Eurozone have changed the balance of risk for fixed income markets.

14 September 2018 MPC Emphasises Rising Downside Risks, Rather than Better GDP Data (Publication Centre)

The MPC surprised nobody yesterday by voting unanimously to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% and to maintain the stocks of gilt and corporate bond purchases at £435B and £10B, respectively.

12 July. 2016 EZ Credit Markets Are Surging, But Equities Can't Keep Up (Publication Centre)

Eurozone capital markets have been split across the main asset classes this year. Equity investors have had a nightmare. The MSCI EU ex-UK index is down 10.6% year-to-date, a remarkably poor performance given additional QE from the ECB and stable GDP growth. Corporate bonds, on the other hand, are sizzling.

16 September 2016 The MPC Remains Poised to Cut Rates in November (Publication Centre)

Without tying its hands, the MPC--which voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.25% and to continue with the £60B of gilt purchases and £10B of corporate bond purchases authorised last month--gave a strong indication yesterday that it still expects to cut Bank Rate in November.

9 June. 2016 Eurozone Credit Markets Cheer as ECB Private QE Begins (Publication Centre)

The ECB's corporate bond purchase program began yesterday with purchases concentrated in utilities and telecoms, according to media sources. This is consistent with the structure of the market, and the fact that bond issues by firms in these sectors are the largest and most liquid. But debt issued by consumer staples firms likely also featured prominently.

3 June. 2016 A Perfect ECB Balancing Act, But it Will Become More Difficult Soon (Publication Centre)

The ECB stood pat yesterday, keeping its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at zero and -0.4%, respectively. The marginal lending facility rate was also left at 0.25%, and the monthly pace of QE was maintained at €80B, with a preliminary end-date in the first quarter of 2017. Purchases of corporate bonds will begin June 8, and the first new TLTRO auction will take place June 22.

22 Jan. 2015 End of the Road for The ECB - Sovereign QE or Chaos (Publication Centre)

Investors will get what they want today from the ECB: additional easing in the form of government bond purchases. The central bank is likely to announce or pre-commit to sovereign QE and corporate bond purchases in a new program that will last at least two years.

21 Dec. 2015 Corporations Still Over-leveraged, but Little Near-Term Danger? (Publication Centre)

The markets' favorite story of the moment, aside from the Fed, seems to be the idea that overstretched corporate finances are an accident waiting to happen. When the crunch comes, the unavoidable hit to the stock market and the corporate bond market will have dire consequences, limiting the Fed's scope to raise rates, regardless of what might be happening in the labor market. We don't buy this. At least, we don't buy the second part of the narrative; we have no problem with the idea the finances of the corporate sector are shaky.

20 Nov. 2015 Will Corporate Yields Become a Good Leading Indicator Again? (Publication Centre)

In the years before the crash of 2008, if you wanted to know what was likely to happen to the pace of U.S. economic growth, all you needed to know was what happened to corporate bond yields a year earlier. The correlation between movements in BBB industrial yields--not spreads--and the changes in the rate of GDP growth, lagged by a year, was remarkably strong from 1994 through 2008, as our first chart shows. Roughly, a 50 basis point increase in yields could be expected to reduce the pace of year-over-year GDP growth--the second differential, in other words--by about 1.5 percentage points.

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