The TSX index rose by 9.5 percent in November 2020, adding large gains to an already sharp V-shaped recovery. The economic outlook improved at that time as well. We ask whether the stock market gains since last autumn are due to improving forecasts of firms’ earnings.
Staff analytical notes
We show that a small number of authorized participants (APs) actively create and redeem shares of US-listed fixed-income exchange-traded funds (FI-ETFs). In 2019, three APs performed 82 percent of gross creations and redemptions of FI-ETF shares. In contrast, the group of active APs for equity ETFs was much more diverse.
Between February 19 and March 23, 2020, the Canadian stock market plunged due to the severe economic impact of COVID-19. By the end of the summer, the stock market had already recovered a significant portion of its losses, leaving many asking if investors see the economy through rose-coloured glasses. Despite these concerns, we find that current market valuations for companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange align well, on average, with the declines in earning forecasts observed since the start of the year. We also find these market valuations are consistent with the discount rate returning to its pre-pandemic level.
The liquidity management strategies of fund managers, supported by policy measures, have helped bond funds limit the increase in redemptions caused by COVID 19. This avoided further deterioration in liquidity in bond markets. Nevertheless, these funds were left with lower cash buffers, which could make them more vulnerable to additional large redemptions.
The creation and redemption activity of fixed-income exchange-traded funds listed in the United States has shifted. Funds of established issuers have traditionally exchanged their shares for baskets of bonds. In contrast, young funds managed by new issuers tend to create and redeem their shares almost exclusively in cash. Cash transactions imply that new funds are taking on exposure to liquidity risk. This has implications for financial stability.
We create a hypothetical scenario to study the role bond funds play in intensifying shocks to the financial system. Using data from 2018 and 2007, we find that bond funds play a larger role now than they did in the past.