5 Jul 2023

Surprising Performance: U.S. High Yield CCC-rated Bonds up 10% YTD!

The Bloomberg US High Yield CCC-rated bond index has recorded an impressive 9.6% gain in 2023. Despite concerns of an impending U.S. recession, the lowest quality segment of the high yield market has emerged as one of the top performers in the U.S. fixed income space. The resilience of the U.S. economy and robust release of hard data have contributed to a significant tightening of the average credit spread for CCC-rated bonds, reaching a 1-year low of 835bps. This represents a 165bps tightening since the beginning of the year. Notably, CCC-rated credit spreads are currently below the historical average of 925bps, while the average yield remains in line with historical levels at 12.8% compared to 12.7%. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that less than 2% of the index is set to mature in 2024. The question now arises: will CCC-rated bonds continue to outperform driven by strong technical factors, or have we reached the top? Source: Bloomberg.


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