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Towards More Stressed Bases?

08 November 2017 by lberuti

The credit market has been weak over the last few sessions. Credit indices certainly needed to take a breather after their impressive march tighter, but the move was mainly driven by the behaviour of the risk premia of single entities. We have seen a few outsized moves among index constituents, and the biggest were moves wider. The above grapple has many bright red boxes - a red box means the corresponding name has widened over the last 5 trading sessions and the brighter the bigger was the move -, and they represent as many casualties among the corporate population. In the US, the retailers are once again on the move, together with car rental companies and many others that disappointed when they reported earnings. All in all, credit default swaps referencing single entities have widened faster than indices, especially in the iTraxx Crossover and CDX High Yield universe. The basis of CDX HY – the difference between an index quoted value and its theoretical value - is at the widest it has been in a while, and the basis of iTraxx Crossover is now almost flat, while it has been chronically positive - the index protection was more expensive or wider than single name protection - throughout the summer.