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Financial markets have been rattled in the past weeks over escalating trade war between the US and China as both imposed tariffs and counter-tariffs on imports. Idiosyncratic risks stories in countries such as Argentina resurfaced, the UK’s parliament was suspended over Brexit chaos and Italy witnessed a political crisis of its own, although a government seems in sight now.
Speculative grade bonds have been among the major beneficiaries of the rapid turn of both Fed and ECB monetary policy stances to much more dovish positions. Lower rates for longer and more synchronised easing mean much lower funding costs and easier financial conditions for HY companies, which, as we know, are more sensitive than IG companies to the absolute levels of nominal and real rates.