Global corporate bond spreads narrowed over May, with credit continuing to recover from March’s sell-off. A general easing in COVID-19 restrictions helped buoy risk appetite, while some improvement in oil prices over May provided respite for the energy sector. Figures showed US unemployment surged to 14.7% in April versus 4.4% in March as COVID-19 lockdowns hit the US economy. Data also pointed to record falls in US
industrial and retail activity in April. Lower gasoline prices saw US headline inflation plunge to just 0.3% in April from 1.5% in March. Survey gauges pointed to some improvement in eurozone business sentiment in May as COVID-19 lockdowns eased, though overall eurozone business activity measures pointed to further contraction. E-commerce giant Amazon.com took advantage of record low yields to issue $10bn worth of debt.
*Source: Lipper to 31-May-20, total return. Indices rebased to zero at 30-Apr-20.