Corporate Bond Markets Retrace Half of Late 2018 Downturn in Early 2019
Investors have become increasingly comfortable taking on corporate credit risk.
Corporate bond credit spreads continued to tighten last week, and since the beginning of the year, they have retraced about half of the amount that they widened in late 2018. In the investment-grade corporate bond market, the average spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index tightened 11 basis points to +140. In the high-yield market, the average credit spread of the ICE BofAML High Yield Master Index tightened 28 basis points to +427. The spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index peaked at +161 at the beginning of January, rising from +109 in early October. Over the same period, the spread of the high-yield index rose as high as +544 after having traded as low as +316.