Not all junk rated bonds in the US energy sector have come under fire during the rout in oil prices, with pipelines and refiners outperforming as investors rotate their holdings across the market.
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A pronounced fall in the price of oil towards a recent low of $64 a barrel – US crude traded for more than $100 in July – has put sharp pressure on sectors within the $186bn of energy-related junk rated debt. This has been notable among gas and oil producers, oil service companies and equipment providers, according to data from RBS Securities and The Yield Book.
In contrast, lower-rated debt issued by pipeline operators and oil refiners has generated a better total return than the broad junk market's gain of 3.5 per cent so far this year.
Overall, the energy sector has a total return of minus 1.3 per cent for the year and that has weighed down the broader $1.3tn US junk bond market.