Invesco Canada blog

Insights, commentary and investing expertise

Interest-rate outlook: Long-term U.S. rates now more dependent on global monetary policy

After hitting lows for the year in June, 10-year government bond yields rose to a two-year high of 1.89% in July,1 as the Bank of Canada (BoC) unsurprisingly increased its benchmark rate from 0.50% to 0.75%.2 The accompanying statement was upbeat as well, brushing off softer inflation numbers as temporary. The BoC’s optimism will probably keep the possibility of another rate hike alive at each of its upcoming meetings. We expect interest rates in Canada to rise from current levels, but we are looking for signs that rates may have topped out in the short term.

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Currency outlook: Strong global growth drives central bank policy convergence

The Canadian dollar has been in a slow decline over the last year. While the Bank of Canada increased the benchmark interest rate, as expected, by 0.25% (to 0.75%) at its July meeting, oil prices appear to have peaked for the year due to increased U.S. oil production, presenting a headwind for the currency.1 We are neutral on the Canadian dollar, and concerns about overleveraged Canadian consumers leave us looking for opportunities to short the currency.

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Up, up and away: BoC hikes rate

Following recent upbeat comments, the Bank of Canada (BoC) announced today that it would hike the overnight target rate to 0.75% from 0.50%. This is the first rate hike since 2010, as the BoC has become confident that the current “above potential growth” will continue, leading it to take back one of two emergency rate cuts enacted in 2015.

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Interest-rate outlook: Expect rising rates in Canada

In June, Canadian 10-year government bond yields bounced off their lowest levels of the year, to 1.63%, as first quarter growth came in above expectations and central banks express confidence that monetary policy has accomplished it’s goal.1 The Bank of Canada (BoC), in particular, is less worried about uncertain U.S. trade policy and another substantial drop in oil prices, and becoming worried that excess capacity is beginning to dwindle. Their optimism may prove to be premature as inflation remains very low, so we are watching its stance closely. We expect interest rates in Canada to rise from current levels.

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Currency outlook: Strong global growth mixed for U.S. dollar

The Canadian dollar has been in a slow decline over the last year, but has shown strength recently. As growth rebounded in the first quarter, the Bank of Canada (BoC) appears to be becoming concerned that excess capacity may be declining faster than they would like. While oil prices appear to have peaked for the year due to U.S. oil production, there has been little effect on the currency. We remain underweight the Canadian dollar due to the overleveraged Canadian consumer, but we are monitoring the recent hawkish BoC rhetoric closely.

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Full steam ahead: Fed hawkish, hikes rates

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (Fed) hiked its key interest rate by 0.25% today, to a target range of 1% – 1.25%. While the hike was fully expected by the market, recent inflation prints, such today’s May CPI falling by -0.1%, had left an expectation this would be a dovish hike. As it turns out, the Fed announcement was hawkish as it formally announced the details of their balance sheet normalization.

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Will U.K. election surprise lead to “softer” Brexit?

One year after the Brexit referendum and two years after the Scottish independence referendum, U.K. voters have surprised the country and the markets once again, with a dramatically different election outcome than suggested by almost every poll: Instead of an enlarged Conservative Party majority, which Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May wanted to see, the result of the June 8 general election is a “hung parliament” – no party controls a majority.

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Looking beyond the active-passive debate

Recently, one of Invesco’s funds – Trimark International Companies Fund – was singled out for praise as an example that true active management can outperform. While the kudos were well-deserved for the team, it appeared as part of a commentary that was otherwise unsympathetic to active management.

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Interest-rate outlook: Excess pessimism in U.K.

During the recent rate rally, the Canadian 10-year government bond yield held at 1.45% and has bounced slightly from there, but still remains at the lower end of its recent range.1 Economic data has tapered off from the strong rebound seen in the first quarter and the Bank of Canada continues to keep monetary policy on hold. The U.S.’s recently imposed tariffs on Canadian softwood exports raised concerns about broader trade implications. In addition, a Canadian subprime mortgage lender has experienced a liquidity drain, drawing attention to an area of the mortgage market that is not typically in the news. We would expect Canadian yields to remain supported in any sell-off.

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Currency outlook: Continued CAD volatility

The Canadian dollar weakened significantly in April, breaking out of its one-year range. A combination of factors contributed to the weakness. Higher U.S. oil production and lower oil prices have put pressure on the Canadian currency. The announcement of U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood exports has also been a factor. Third, the recent liquidity problems of a Canadian subprime mortgage lender have played a role. Despite the recent strength in the latter half of May, we believe weakness in the Canadian dollar is likely to continue.

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Interest-rate outlook: Impact of upcoming British election

The yield on the 10-year Canadian government bond broke through its recent range of 1.60%-1.87%, reaching a low of 1.43% on April 18.1 Geopolitical risks, as well as concerns about elections in France were the big driver as the economic data in Canada has been fairly positive.

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Currency outlook: Global growth, eurozone elections continue

Canadian dollar strength has faded recently despite stronger economic data. Weakness in oil prices has been responsible for some of the reversal. The Bank of Canada has, at least temporarily, dropped its dovish tilt, but appears content to leave the overnight rate target at 0.50% for the foreseeable future.1 The Canadian dollar continues to remain overvalued, in our view.

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Currency management: A simple roadmap

Global diversification has become standard practice among investors around the world. As the trend toward global investing grows, managing currency risk in global portfolios is likely to take on increasing importance. Sovereign wealth funds, central banks and other investors are likely to consider the benefits and challenges of currency hedging as their investment strategies become more globally focused. However, evaluating the impact of foreign exchange risk on portfolios and how to address that risk is a debated issue. Should global investors adopt strategies to specifically address currency risk or should they not?

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Currency outlook: CDN overvalued, USD mixed

The Canadian dollar was reasonably strong until the first week of March, when the U.S. Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) began telegraphing the prospects of a rate hike at its March meeting. The Bank of Canada has appeared to continue to favour a somewhat weaker currency in spite of some strong economic data, including very strong full-time employment reports. Our opinion remains that the Canadian dollar is overvalued and we favour being short the currency.

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Interest-rate outlook as global growth improves

The 10-year Canadian government bond yield has retreated from its 2017 peak yield of 1.87% and currently sits in the middle of this year’s range of 1.61% – 1.87%.1 Economic data has generally been picking up this year with employment growth showing particular strength. The Bank of Canada has kept policy on hold recently, but remains wary of persistent economic slack. We believe the current trading range is likely to persist unless global economic growth picks up further.

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Why we are not afraid of the Fed

The Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates in March and is likely to raise them again twice this year, yet the financial markets have taken this news in stride. Why is this? Simply put, the Fed is behaving dovishly, considering the positive growth pattern we are seeing.

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U.K. triggers Brexit with Article 50: What happens now?

The Brexit process started today, when British Prime Minister Theresa May formally notified the European Union (EU) of the U.K.’s intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

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Third time’s a charm

The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked its key interest rate by 0.25% today, to a range of 0.75%–1.00%, marking the third increase in the current cycle. Fixed income markets had essentially priced in the increase two weeks ago, when nearly every Fed speaker acknowledged that a March hike appeared to be warranted. The vote was not unanimous as Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, voted against the action, preferring to keep the target rate unchanged at this meeting.

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The future of ECB QE: Is the end in sight?

In recent months, consumer prices in the euro area have begun to align with the European Central Bank’s (ECB) inflation target of just under 2%.1 We expected January headline inflation to be around 1.8%, a far cry from the deflationary conditions that convinced the ECB to begin its asset purchase program (quantitative easing, or QE) in 2015 and then extend it in 2016. As we look forward to 2017 and beyond, we ask whether QE should extend beyond March 2018 or will the inflation hawks and external voices force the ECB to end it before the region is ready?

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