LESS ACUTE NUCLEAR SABRE-RATTLING by the U.S. and N. Korea underpinned a continued move off safe-haven bids, conferring slight favor for European junk bonds. News indicating Kim Jong has backed off imminent threats to Guam extended yesterday's 'relief rally' in risk assets. Strong U.S. retail data was a component of a pickup in risk-on sentiment in Europe; gains in Danone SA and Aberdeen Asset Management shares were offset by pullbacks in Hargreaves Lansdown PLC and K+S AG, lending sector cues to corporate-bond traders.
Although the pan-European Stoxx 600 was slow to recover from resistance to upside moves, the index moved to the shallow green by 4 PM London time. Risk-on bias in Europe drew some strength from news 'across the pond' that U.S. retail sales moved up the most this year in July, reinforcing bets for a notch up in the hawkish direction by the Federal Reserve. A slight miss in German GDP, up 0.6% versus 0.7% projected, appeared to exert limited impact on sentiment. Danone SA shares gained 2.5% before profit-taking, on news of a bigger stake by Corvex Management, while a Barclays upgrade of Aberdeen Asset Management sent its shares up over 2%. ADI (Advantage Data Inc.) extensive corporate-bond index data showed a net daily yield increment for investment-grade versus high-yield constituents. High-yield bonds edged out investment-grade debt in net prices linked to trades, as of 4 PM. Among European high-yield bonds showing a concurrence of top price gains at appreciable volumes traded, Barclays PLC 4.375% 9/11/2024 made some analysts' 'Conviction Buy' lists.