All numbers are in the relevant share class currency and YTD means end of July 2019.
July was relatively calm. Early and mid- July, markets were affected by moderate but decent fundamentals in the US and a more mixed picture in Europe. Easing monetary policies continued to be a theme. Towards the end of the month, sentiment worsened due to US-China trade war escalation.
The fund returned around 0.77 percent in July. The main positive contribution was accrued interest in addition to some other smaller contributors. We participated in two new issues in July and view the primary market as selective with good supply of new issuers. The fund is well diversified, and any single credit event will only have a moderate effect on the funds return.
Outlook for the fund
With a yield around 7 percent and a well-diversified portfolio, we still view risk reward as good. The investor base in the Nordic high yield market has grown lately, cash position seems solid and a number of new issuers from different sectors have come to the market.
The Norwegian economy is in good shape, the outlook is solid and domestic figures have been roughly in line with Norges Bank’s forecast during the summer. But registered unemployment was somewhat higher than expected and the downward trend in unemployment could be stalling. This is probably not enough to have any major impact on Norges Bank’s view.
The Riksbank kept the repo rate on hold and the rate path unchanged in July. Q2 GDP came in weaker than expected, but the divergence from the Riskbank’s forecast was not very large and the Swedish economy is still strong. However, lower growth and domestic demand, together with easing from other central banks, will probably keep the Riksbank on hold for a while.
Oil price and exchange rates
The oil price decreased slightly from USD 66 to USD 65/bbl. in July. During the month prices moved up on inventory draws, Gulf of Mexico platform closures and escalating tension in the Persian Gulf. Prices moved down on easing US-Iran tension and escalating US-China trade war signals.
Both the NOK and SEK weakened a bit in trade weighted terms in July. The SEK took a hit on the weaker than expected Q2 GDP numbers and the NOK remains vulnerable to external factors such as oil price, trade war and drop in risk appetite in general.
August started with a bang for the Norwegian krone, which had its sharpest weekly sell-off of the year in the first week of the month! Please find the two latest DNB Markets FX weekly research papers attached for more and detailed information on the latest development in the Norwegian currency.
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