Market Insights and Education & Resources

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Has inflation peaked and if so, what's next for fixed interest investors? Here’s a view from our head of government bond strategies TIM HEXT

AMONG the many adages I’ve heard in my career “sell in May and go away” always sticks in my mind.  

The quote apparently originated in London and said in full: “sell in May and go away and come back on St Leger Day” (in September). The “go away” referred to very long summer holidays enjoyed by rich stockbrokers.

In the US equity market November-to-April outperforms May-to-November over time. 

Going back more than a century the Dow’s average return is apparently 5.2% for November-to-April, compared to 2.1% for May-to-October.

In Australia the numbers are 5.1% and 2.4%.  The term could be recoined as “buy in November and sit back”, but that wouldn’t rhyme.

The calm in the storm

This May has been the calm in the storm. But no one can agree if it’s the eye of the storm or if we’re actually through it.

Markets are clutching at any sign inflation has peaked.

In the US it likely has on both on a monthly and year-on-year basis — but will be slow to come down.  

In Australia we are unlikely to see a repeat of the Q1 2.1% quarterly CPI number. But base effects mean annual inflation will peak closer to 6% (currently 5.1%) in Q3 (released in late October).

We have just finished a deep dive into inflation which we will release shortly as part of our Australian Investor Quarterly newsletter.

As the inflation narrative settles down, all eyes will turn to the impact of inflation and interest rates on growth.

Share markets remain vulnerable to earnings downgrades and weakening growth numbers.

This becomes reflexive, though, as equity weakness in turn causes confidence to fall which may eventually take some pressure off rising interest rates thereby supporting equities.   

We may well spend the northern summer rolling around in this cycle of volatility, heading eventually nowhere as the dynamics try to work themselves out.

What it means for investors

As a fixed interest portfolio manager it means we must look to harvest more tactical trades than big-picture moves for the next few months.

We continue to think short-dated inflation bonds are cheap in outright real yields but also in break-evens (inflation expectations).

The picture for duration and credit is less clear though we do have some positions based on cash rates “only” getting to 2% this year as opposed to markets pricing closer to 2.75%.

With both bond markets and equity markets trashed in the last four months I will ignore the “sell in May and go away” advice as coming way too late — wishing someone had instead advised me this year to “Sell on New Years Day and go away.”

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Here are the main factors driving the ASX this week according to our head of equities Crispin Murray. Reported by portfolio specialist Chris Adams.

Find out about Crispin's Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund
Find out about Crispin's sustainable Pendal Horizon Fund

THE MARKET is at an interesting near-term juncture.

The S&P 500 has lost ground seven weeks in a row and is now off about 20% from its peak. It has re-tested and held recent lows.

Expiring options may reduce volatility and we may see some month-end rebalancing towards equities in a low-liquidity environment due to next Monday’s US Memorial Day holiday.

A near-term bounce may be possible and counter-trend moves can be material.

However we don’t think we’ve seen the low point for this cycle. The market is yet to work through the effect of a slowing economy on corporate earnings. 

The S&P 500 fell 3% last week as the market continued to worry about the potential for recession.

This was compounded by some poor earnings results out of US retailers. The issue here was not weaker consumption, but the mix shift from goods to services and a rising cost impost. 

This emphasises the market’s vulnerability should a slowdown occur and begin to affect earnings.

US 10-year government bond yields fell 14bp. The positive correlation between bonds and equities appears to have broken down as the focus moves to risk aversion and a flight to safety.

We also saw a fall in the US dollar. This was probably a consolidation after a big run. It helped commodities and resource stocks, as did more signs of Chinese easing. 

Australia again remains the market for these times.

The S&P/ASX 300 was up 1.2% for the week. It’s down only 2.5% for the calendar year to date, versus -17.7% for the S&P 500 and -27.2% for the NASDAQ.

Two key issues driving the market

We see two primary issues driving the outlook for markets.

The first issue is whether the US economy slows down or slips into recession.

Looking at recent bear markets, a recession has tended to lead to bigger drawdowns – such as in 2000-2002 and 2007-2009.

Current investor surveys indicate a 50-55% probability of recession.

This comes down to views on what the Fed sees as acceptable inflation and what they will need to do to achieve it. There are two scenarios here:

  1. The positive scenario: Financial conditions have tightened enough, the economy is already slowing, inflation pressures are beginning to ease and therefore bonds have peaked and aggressive monetary tightening (and therefore recession) will not occur. A variant of this view is that the Fed will live with inflation in the mid to high 2s — rather than go for 2% — to avoid pushing the economy into recession
  2. The negative scenario: The economy will prove more resilient to rising rates, with consumers bolstered by excess savings and the labour market remaining tight. This will force the Fed to do more tightening and ultimately “break” the economy to control inflation. Proponents point to unemployment of 3.5% needing to rise to around 4.25% to create sufficient slack to ensure wages don’t reinforce inflationary pressures. The US has never been able to engineer such a rise in unemployment without it being associated with a recession.

The second major issue is whether the Chinese economy deteriorates or sees a policy-driven rebound.

Again, there are two scenarios:

  1. The positive view: China is close to peak Covid lockdown and the combination of re-opening and additional infrastructure stimulus will trigger a recovery, generate good commodity demand, and underpin resource stocks.
  2. The negative scenario: The economy is in far worse shape than the market realises. Lower rates reflect the financial vulnerability of property developers, stimulus will be ineffective due to low confidence, high input costs and inability to execute due to Covid restrictions.
Economics and policy

There is a lot of debate about whether we have seen peak inflation and peak bond yields.

Official data such as retail sales is signalling that the consumer remains strong, though there are signs the economy is slowing. For example, the Economic Surprise index – which shows the degree to which economic data is beating or missing estimates – is deteriorating in most countries. Consumer confidence is also weak and is at 40-year lows in the UK.

The combined effects of higher mortgage rates and fuel prices have reached levels consistent with previous consumer slowdowns. This indicator tends to lead by around 12 months.

Total financial conditions – which includes rates, equities and credit spreads – have tightened to a reasonable degree and should lead to a headwind of 1.3% of US GDP growth by Q3 2022.

We are also seeing signs that corporate pricing power – while still at high levels – may be easing.

There are signs that consumers are under some stress – particularly at the lower income end – with credit outstanding rising rapidly. This may support current consumption but is unsustainable.

Freight shipping rates are beginning to drop and there are early signs of a fall in US trucking rates.

That said, the freight rate may be a misleading signal due to a drop-off in Chinese exports. It’s unclear how much of this is a genuine de-bottlenecking of supply chains.  

All this indicates the economy is responding to tighter financial conditions. It is slowing down and this is beginning to reduce inflation pressures.

This belief can be seen in forward pricing of inflation, where both break even yields and the 5-year inflation swap have rolled over since late April.

This could be positive for the equity market since it’s in line with the first scenario outlined above.

However there are still two key unknowns:

  1. This slowing could be the prequel to a recession. A slow-down and a recession will look the same initially. It will also probably result in negative earnings revisions, which the market will not like as we saw last week in the US. 
  2. The second unknown is whether this will equate to inflation falling enough to allow the Fed to declare victory.

Fed Chair Powell has stressed that the labour market is resilient enough to weather tightening policy.

While this sounds reassuring, the question is whether a resilient labour market is consistent with inflation falling to target levels. If it is not, policy needs to tighten even more.

The labour force is very tight and this is driving wage growth. Some measures suggest we need to see employment decline by at least 1% to reduce wage pressure.

China

Economic surveys indicate the Chinese economy is weak. Q2 GDP is expected to decline 1.5% to 2%, with growth for the year coming in between 3% and 4%. 

Beijing has responded with a larger-than-expected cut in its 5-year loan prime rate.

China bears see this as a move to prop up private developers who are facing a funding squeeze, thereby preventing deterioration rather than providing stimulus.

The more bullish view is that while this may not be a sizeable move, it is a very strong signal that the government will support property, similar to November 2014. Then it was the precursor to a big bounce in Chinese growth sentiment in 2015.

We remain cautious on a China recovery.

The property market appears to be deflating, but prices remain very high and developers are still too leveraged. At best the market stays flat, but the risk is to the downside, so any infrastructure related stimulus will only be offsetting this.

The other challenge is the lack of transparency over the extent of Covid and the real level of restrictions.

Europe

The ECB struck a more hawkish tone in response to poor inflation data. The market is now being primed for a first rate rise in July, with a possible 50bp move straight up. This is unlikely, but helped the Euro bounce off its lows against the US dollar.

Australia

There is little to read into the election outcome at this point. A majority government provides more clarity than a minority.

We are also likely to see more emphasis on reducing carbon emissions in coming years, which will have an impact on corporate disclosures and investment.

US earnings

Overall quarterly earnings were good. Full-year earnings lifted from about 5% to 11% growth.

However the outlook looks overly optimistic, with 9% eps growth expected in CY23 despite a slowdown.

Last week demonstrated the impact earnings headwinds can have. Broadline retailers missed earnings expectations as a result of freight costs and the mix shift in consumption.

Walmart and Target have joined Amazon in highlighting material gross margin pressure.

Underlying sales have not been particularly disappointing. But the impact of the unexpected mix shift caused problems as spending moved away from home, consumer electronics and sporting goods to travel, toys and luxury goods.

Inventories are also building in areas such as home furnishings and consumer electronics, while unit demand growth is dropping. This crimps a company’s ability to push through price rises.

The share of “private label” sales are rising. This is partly due to improved product availability as labour issues improve. It may also indicate consumers are “trading down” as real income falls – potentially a signal of softer consumption.

The overall impact were large hits to stocks in the previously defensive consumer staples sector.

This highlights the difficulty in identifying defensive pockets in this environment

Markets

We may be seeing a near-term low in the US equity market.

Historically, bear market bounces average a 15% gain over 30-40 days.

This does not signal the market has hit its lows for the cycle. Most technical signals have not indicated a degree of panic or capitulation. For example put/call ratio data has not yet moved into 99th percentile level – a usual indicator of capitulation. Nor have we seen high volumes in stocks being sold down.

Retail investors are yet to give up on the bull market.

The triple-leveraged NASDAQ ETF is still seeing large net inflows – despite being down over 60% year-to-date. Interestingly energy-related ETFs – among the best performing year to date – are seeing negligible inflows by comparison.

The high proportion of “buy” ratings on the market leaders of the past few years is another sign that we are yet to see capitulation.

We see scope for short, sharp bear-market rallies, but remain defensively positioned overall. We don’t believe it is yet the time to reload on high beta, illiquid names.

The Australian market last week saw a good bounce in the resource sector (+3.8%) on China optimism. The Technology (+5%) sector bounced as Xero’s management clarified a post-result message and emphasised confidence in improved margins and cash flow over time. Consumer staples (-3.3%) lagged, following the US lead.


About Crispin Murray and Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund

Crispin Murray is Pendal’s Head of Equities. He has more than 27 years of investment experience and leads one of the largest equities teams in Australia. Crispin’s Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund has beaten the benchmark in 12 years of its 16-year history (after fees), across a range of market conditions.

Pendal is an independent, global investment management business focused on delivering superior investment returns for our clients through active management. 

Find out more about Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund  

Contact a Pendal key account manager

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Emotion can overwhelm strategy when markets are volatile. Pendal’s multi-asset chief MICHAEL BLAYNEY explains three simple rules to keep in mind

  • In times of volatility, don’t panic
  • Opportunities occur in every market
  • Diversification matters, especially in turbulent times

THERE is no silver bullet when investing, and often in volatile times like these, emotion can overwhelm strategy.

Here Pendal's Head of Multi-Asset Michael Blayney outlines his three rules for investing in turbulent times:

Rule #1: Don’t panic

Have a well thought-out investment strategy, philosophy and process before a crisis starts. 

This helps you stay disciplined despite the noise around you. It’s easy to get swayed by emotion, or worse still, enter a crisis at a risk level that wasn’t right for you to begin with. 

A well thought-out, documented strategy enables you to look at each part of your portfolio and say “yes I understand why I own that assets and downturns are a normal part of cycle”.

A well thought out and documented philosophy and process is crucial to any active decision making during a crisis. It helps you keep a clear head when other market participants feel like a deer in headlights.

Rule 2: Look for opportunities, but at a minimum rebalance

Rebalancing matters.

If you look at history, when you buy things that are cheap, you do well as a long-term investor.

Rebalance your portfolio in a disciplined way, regardless of the headlines and how you may feel. There’s a proven process to top up your holdings at low prices and reduce investments that have done well.

Disciplined rebalancing adds to returns and reduces risk over time compared to letting a portfolio run. 

It doesn’t require superior insights or an army of PhDs and investment analysts to help you -- but it does require discipline.

Rule 3: Diversification matters

Be diversified and always include enough liquidity (cash) for your short-term needs. You never want to be a forced seller. 

Each crisis is a little different. The global financial crisis was different to the COVID crisis. This crisis isn’t as violent as the previous two, but there is inflation which we haven’t seen for a long time.

Inflation isn’t good for bonds, but once they get sold off, and yields rise, they become a more useful asset class again.

Equities have come off high levels and rising bond yields affects valuation metrics. While it makes equities look a bit pricey, there will come a time when its right to re-enter the market again.

Diversification means exposure to a range of assets – including those which might not have done as well for a number of years but could outperform in different circumstances.

Diversified investors know that there’s always going to be some part of their portfolio that’s not working as well.

Then the cycle turns, and they need that part of the portfolio. That cycle can take a decade so an investor must be able to cope emotionally with an underperforming asset for a period.

The key thing people do wrong is panic and sell without a clear view of what their strategy is.

Ultimately you want to be the one with enough liquidity, comfortable with your strategy, and able to take advantage of any bargains that emerge.


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Europe is likely to accelerate renewable energy as a preferred solution over fossil fuels. Regnan’s TIM CROCKFORD explains why

  • Russia’s invasion has upended Europe’s energy supply
  • LNG and nuclear could take years to roll out
  • Renewables, hydrogen, batteries can be operating sooner

RUSSIA'S invasion of Ukraine could accelerate the uptake of renewable energy as European regulators fast-track approvals and sweep away bottlenecks to alleviate the continent’s energy crisis, says Regnan's Tim Crockford.

Russia’s aggression has upended energy markets and propelled oil and gas prices to multi-year highs, triggering question-marks about what Europe can do to diversify its energy supply.

Before the invasion, Europe was heavily dependent on Russia for gas, oil and coal. Russia accounted for 55% of Germany’s natural gas supplies in 2021, more than a third of its crude oil and about half its hard coal.

While the humanitarian crisis remains a priority, focus is turning to "how governments respond and what effect this will have on renewables,” says Crockford, who heads up Regnan's Global Equity Impact Solutions Fund. (Regnan is part of Pendal Group).

“We believe in the short term, it’s going to accelerate production increases in fossil fuels as well as renewables,” says Crockford.

“But it brings a longer-term, heightened risk for investors of stranded assets in the fossil fuels space” because the additional supply coming online is contingent on current higher prices lasting into the longer term.”

Part of the fossil fuel price reaction to the invasion can be explained by the fact that declining investment in fossil fuel capacity in recent years has not been matched by equivalent investment in renewables.

“So, while people have been talking about growth in renewables, we would actually argue that the growth has happened at a slower pace.

“Now you're starting to see the catch up being played out.”

LNG ramp-up faces hurdles

The EU has a difficult balance to achieve — energy security within existing decarbonisation targets.

The likely outcome is a ramp-up in liquified natural gas (LNG) -- which is expected to rise 70% by 2024 in continental Europe, albeit amid falling overall gas consumption.

But there is no short-term solution to lifting fossil fuel output, says Crockford.

One reason is that most of the existing production of LNG is tied to long-term contracts -- predominantly going to Asia.

“So, while theoretically, LNG should be the energy source that is most responsive to the greater need, it’s not actually materialising.”

Another problem: Europe has little spare "regassification" capacity to make use of liquid LNG imports.

What it does have is designed for gas to flow from east to west. LNG receiving facilities in Spain have capacity, but there are no pipelines to send the gas back eastwards across Europe.

“This is something that will take three to five years to put in place from when the investment decisions are made,” says Crockford.

Expect Europe to accelerate renewables

Among alternative energy sources, coal is not feasible partly because it is politically unpalatable but also because it has been through a major decommissioning process in recent years, says Crockford.

Meanwhile, public perception towards nuclear “has done a 180, but it’s not as simply as flicking a switch and turning the plants back on again — the leads times are seven to 10 years".

While renewable energy is equally no quick fix, Crockford says investors should expect many governments across Europe look to accelerate renewable investment.

“In addition to making it more likely that they will be brought into line with net zero commitments, renewables can be operational sooner than new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity.

“This is particularly true for small-scale solar and onshore wind, but even offshore wind has a theoretical lead time of 18-24 months after an investment decision has been made.”

He says the main bottlenecks for renewables are getting permits from regulators and grid connections, but EU policy makers are acting on this by directing governments to speed up the permitting process.

Other beneficiaries of the push for energy independence are likely to be energy storage — both hydrogen and batteries — and companies that help businesses and households improve their energy efficiency.

Renewables, hydrogen, batteries set to win out

“In summary, while we are likely to see a rise in short-term support for fossil fuels, it is likely to be curtailed by supply and lead-time constraints,” says Crockford.

“It is our view that this increases the medium-term risk of assets becoming stranded, as capital is likely to be sunk into assets that command a higher cost per unit of energy relative to older capacity and therefore require commodity prices to remain higher for longer to achieve their expected ROIs.

”At the margin, therefore, it would seem to us that renewables, hydrogen and battery storage and energy efficiency are poised to win out.”

About Tim Crockford

Tim Crockford leads Regnan's Equity Impact Solutions team and is senior fund manager of Regnan Global Equity Impact Solutions Fund. Tim previously managed the Hermes Impact Opportunities Equity Fund after co-founding the Hermes impact team in 2016.

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The latest wages data shows surprisingly modest growth in some sectors. But wages are the ultimate lagging indicator and that will soon change, says our head of government bond strategies TIM HEXT

DESPITE increasing anecdotal evidence of rising wages, the latest data shows the price of labour grew a modest 0.7% in the March quarter.

Over the year wage growth was 2.4%, according to the Wage Price Index (WPI) released yesterday.

Only one sector nudged over 3% annually and none grew at or near 1% for the quarter.

In some areas this was not surprising. But in industries such as construction and retail trade this flies in the face of worker shortages. 

This will change, since we’ve really only fully opened up this year.

Wages are the ultimate lagging indicator — and patience is required.

Annual and quarterly changes, WPI Mar 2022 (total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses, per industry):

Source: ABS, Wage Price Index, Australia, March 2022

Earlier this year the Reserve Bank had WPI front and centre when trying to ignore rising inflation and pressure to raise rates.

Unless we got strong wage growth, inflation would eventually come back, the RBA said.

But in May — as they threw in the towel and hiked rates — the RBA referenced broader measures of wages:

“The outlook for broader measures of labour costs had also been revised up; average earnings were expected to increase at a faster pace than the WPI, as firms turned to bonuses, allowances and other measures to attract and retain workers,” the RBA said in its May board minutes.

They also highlighted the great inertia of wage growth:

“While the inertia arising from multi-year enterprise agreements and current public sector wages policies would continue to weigh on aggregate wages growth in the near term, a period of faster growth in labour costs overall was in prospect.”

The main battleground this year will be public sector agreements across the big employment areas of health, education and transport.

The public sector employs around 20% of the workforce. These are state government responsibilities and for now at least the governments largely have a 2.5% wage cap.

However unions quite rightly point out that a 5% inflation rate is seeing real wages fall. With staff shortages in key areas they are in a good position to extract wage rises closer to 5% than 2.5%.

Maybe for teachers and nurses they can offer 2.5% and a “thank you” bonus of 2% for their efforts through Covid, keeping their policy “intact”.

The RBA expect the WPI to hit 3% by year end and 3.5% by the end of 2023.

Chances are we hit these levels sooner. 

Let’s remember this is a good thing overall. It does however add to the narrative that inflation will struggle to fall back to target anytime in the next few years.

What it means for fixed interest investors

Investors should still be looking to inflation bonds ahead of nominal bonds.

In our portfolios we have been adding inflation risk, which has cheapened up in May.

Inflation will moderate next year but levels above 3% look like being more entrenched over the next two to three years, helped by wages eventually nearing 4% growth.

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Inflationary periods can be a good time to identify mis-priced stocks if you know what to look for, says Pendal’s CLIVE BEAGLES

  • Inflation triggers mis-pricing of stocks
  • Important to decipher inflation and volume in revenue growth
  • Cyclical stocks oversold in UK market

HOW can equity investors identify mis-pricing in an inflationary environment — and therefore identify opportunities?

Pay attention to the difference between real growth and nominal growth rates of a company, says Clive Beagles, senior fund manager at Pendal’s UK-based asset manager J O Hambro. 

Real growth measures growth adjusted for inflation. Nominal growth doesn’t adjust for price changes.

“Inflation has meant real growth forecasts have come down somewhat. But companies operate in a nominal growth rate world, and they’re still going to be high,” says Beagles.

“In the UK nominal growth could be 10 per cent — and that hasn’t happened since the 1980s.

“It’s a very different environment and people haven’t been focusing on it. Earnings could prove to be much better than people think because they are in nominal terms.”

In all markets it’s important to look at individual companies and decipher the split of revenue growth between inflation and volume, says Beagles.

“Some companies are very helpful at providing it and some aren’t.

“If you can understand the split, you can identify companies that can pass through price rises, and those that might end up with strong revenue growth but no volume growth,” he says.

Rotation away from cyclicals and financials ‘overdone’

In the UK, the rotation away from financials and cyclicals towards defensive stocks is overdone,  argues Beagles.

Extreme risk aversion in the market means the valuation between defensives and cyclicals is now at the same low level as after 9/11 and during the Lehman collapse in the global financial crisis.

“That’s pretty staggering. We are in this phony period where everyone is anticipating that life slows down quite dramatically but companies haven’t seen it yet.”

The cost-of-living crisis particularly around energy prices in the UK has gotten a huge amount of attention.

“But the stock of savings is elevated and at an aggregate level that will provide a bit of a cushion.” (Though the savings aren’t distributed evenly across society, he adds.)

“The investment community has been whipped up into very bearish sentiment, but the UK is different to Europe. It hasn’t been hit as hard by higher energy prices. It is much more service, consumer-spending oriented. It hasn’t got a big manufacturing sector.

“Share prices are assuming much worse than what we’ve seen so far.

“As risk tolerance normalises, cyclicals and financials should outperform.” 

About Clive Beagles

Clive Beagles is a senior fund manager with Pendal Group's UK-based asset manager, J O Hambro Capital Management. Clive is one of the UK’s most highly respected equity income managers. He has 32 years of industry experience and co-manages the JOHCM UK Equity Income Fund.

About Pendal Group

Pendal is an independent, global investment management business focused on delivering superior investment returns for our clients through active management. 

Find out about Pendal's investment strategies

Contact a Pendal key account manager

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Has inflation peaked and if so, what's next for fixed interest investors? Here’s a view from our head of government bond strategies TIM HEXT

AMONG the many adages I’ve heard in my career “sell in May and go away” always sticks in my mind.  

The quote apparently originated in London and said in full: “sell in May and go away and come back on St Leger Day” (in September). The “go away” referred to very long summer holidays enjoyed by rich stockbrokers.

In the US equity market November-to-April outperforms May-to-November over time. 

Going back more than a century the Dow’s average return is apparently 5.2% for November-to-April, compared to 2.1% for May-to-October.

In Australia the numbers are 5.1% and 2.4%.  The term could be recoined as “buy in November and sit back”, but that wouldn’t rhyme.

The calm in the storm

This May has been the calm in the storm. But no one can agree if it’s the eye of the storm or if we’re actually through it.

Markets are clutching at any sign inflation has peaked.

In the US it likely has on both on a monthly and year-on-year basis — but will be slow to come down.  

In Australia we are unlikely to see a repeat of the Q1 2.1% quarterly CPI number. But base effects mean annual inflation will peak closer to 6% (currently 5.1%) in Q3 (released in late October).

We have just finished a deep dive into inflation which we will release shortly as part of our Australian Investor Quarterly newsletter.

As the inflation narrative settles down, all eyes will turn to the impact of inflation and interest rates on growth.

Share markets remain vulnerable to earnings downgrades and weakening growth numbers.

This becomes reflexive, though, as equity weakness in turn causes confidence to fall which may eventually take some pressure off rising interest rates thereby supporting equities.   

We may well spend the northern summer rolling around in this cycle of volatility, heading eventually nowhere as the dynamics try to work themselves out.

What it means for investors

As a fixed interest portfolio manager it means we must look to harvest more tactical trades than big-picture moves for the next few months.

We continue to think short-dated inflation bonds are cheap in outright real yields but also in break-evens (inflation expectations).

The picture for duration and credit is less clear though we do have some positions based on cash rates “only” getting to 2% this year as opposed to markets pricing closer to 2.75%.

With both bond markets and equity markets trashed in the last four months I will ignore the “sell in May and go away” advice as coming way too late — wishing someone had instead advised me this year to “Sell on New Years Day and go away.”

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