Fixed Income Perspectives
With political risk to the European Union easing and the eurozone economy strengthening, the European Central Bank may taper its stimulus program and lead eurozone yields higher. The U.S. Federal Reserve will implement three rate hikes this year. We maintain short duration posture to U.S. and German rates.Read More
Despite signs of economic softening the Federal Reserve still intends to normalize policy through interest rate hikes, ending reinvestment and reducing its portfolio. Though bond investors might expect increased market supply to result in higher yields, we believe that strong demand — and Treasury issuance coordinated with Fed policy — will mitigate a significant rate move.
In a move that was largely anticipated by the market, the Fed announced another interest rate hike of 25 basis points. We believe the announcement allows the Fed to revert to a more dovish stance going forward and let the market guide expectations as to the appropriate pace of further hikes.
Recent developments confirm our view that the Federal Reserve will maintain a cautious pace of rate normalization. We continue to make incremental, tactical portfolio adjustments to protect against rising rates while seeking potential for higher income.
As we look ahead to the first six months of 2017, CIO of Fixed Income Matt Toms explains the key investment themes we are focusing on.
CIO of Fixed Income Matt Toms, CFA breaks down the key investment themes of 2017 and explains how Voya seeks to deliver the unique solutions and consistent results clients need to navigate the challenging fixed income environment.
With Republicans soon to be in control of all three governmental branches, the likelihood of significant policy change is high. As a result, the focus for investors has shifted to four key points: tax policy, deregulation, fiscal spending and trade policy. In this post-election world, we believe there is potential for upside in certain risk assets; we continue to favor U.S. centric risk while also being mindful that inflationary influences are likely to bias interest rates higher.
We believe the Fed will hike rates in December if upcoming jobs reports do not disappoint, but the pace of tightening will be extremely slow. Meanwhile, in the global economy stabilizing trade volume, recovering inflation and Asian growth support credit spread appetite. Against this backdrop we are more constructive about risk-taking: we have increased allocations to emerging market local debt and investment grade corporate credit, while maintaining overweights to CMBS and non-agency RMBS. We remain neutral on high yield.
By Matt Toms, CFA, CIO Fixed Income
In its September FOMC meeting, the Fed announced it would once again keep rates unchanged. But is that really what investors should be focusing on? Listen to CIO of Fixed Income, Matt Toms, CFA break down the Fed's announcement and share the reasons why Voya believes unconventional policy tools are here to stay.
Investors have shifted focus from "Brexit" aftermath to the strong U.S. payrolls report and its implications for Fed policy. Any momentum gained from payrolls stalled, however, after the U.S. reported uninspiring second-quarter GDP growth. Productivity fell near the low end of its historical range, which may prompt the Fed to increase rates sooner, but the absence of inflation pressure demands caution. The market currently prices less than a 50% chance for a September rate hike. We think the Fed should control its message and guide markets toward a possible December hike, if any.