Recovery and central banks may support risk markets

The ongoing global recovery and accommodative policies of major central banks should support risk markets in the near term, according to Calvert Research and Management.

However, investors should be aware that markets could become increasingly volatile depending on the course of monetary policy taken.

“A focus on generating portfolio returns through credit risk versus duration risk is appropriate for the current environment — an environment characterized by strong economic and corporate fundamentals, talk of tapering at the Fed and a "go big" spending mentality in Washington,”

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 Vishal Khanduja, director of investment grade fixed- income portfolio management and trading, and Brian S. Ellis, fixed income portfolio manager, at Calvert, said in a note.

“We expect this approach, combined with the flexibility to adjust positioning within and across sectors, can benefit fixed-income portfolios in the months ahead.”

They said that due to the economic recovery and the inflation and yield implications of the significant deficit spending, investors should position for yield-curve steepening with an underweight to duration.

“While we previously favoured higher-quality corporate bonds, lower-quality segments of the credit markets now offer attractive opportunities in our view,” they said.

“There may still be room for spread compression here, particularly in select BBB- and crossover credits that are benefiting from the sustained reopening.

“In the high-yield market, we see value in some rising star candidates that could be upgraded to investment grade, as well as select BB- and B-rated credits that are attractive in a low-default environment.

“Within non-investment grade, our emphasis has remained on bank loans over bonds, in part due to their lower sensitivity to interest rates,” they concluded.

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