Expectations of March Fed Hike Near 100%
Expectations of a March Federal Reserve rate hike are near 100% as economic data strengthens. Federal Reserve policy rate decision expected on Thursday, 2.00AM, Singapore time. Cyclical sectors typically have strongest positive correlations to a rising interest rate environment. Singapore banks have generated an average total return of 17.8% (vs STI’s 12.2%) since 8 Nov-16, on the back of strong institutional investors buying activity. Defensive sectors such as REITs are also sensitive to interest rates. The S-REIT Sector currently offers a yield spread of c430bps, higher than the long-term average of c340bps, which may imply that investors have largely factored in potential rate hikes this year.