Riding the Roller Coaster – Fixed Income Monthly

October was as much of a roller-coaster month for rates as for credit spreads since inflation fears and Central Bank tapering gathered more steam. Volatility started the month high with headline news on Evergrande among other Chinese real estate developers, followed by global natural gas shortages and electricity price spikes. Later in the month, Q3 earnings brought back some investor confidence starting with the US Banking sector reporting upbeat numbers followed by other non-financial sectors mostly beating estimates. Nevertheless, management comments from multiple industries showed growing concerns on the surging input commodity cost, labor shortage, utility cost as well as freight congestion, which put pressure on output as well as margin. Additionally, the slowdown in China has put another layer of headwind to the global manufacturing sector. As these risks grow to be more tangible and spill over from one sector to another, the duration of the supposedly ‘transitory’ risk factors seems to have extended beyond expectations, bringing downside risk to near term growth and potentially upside risk to near – and medium- term inflation.