Vanguard is considering dialing down exposure to oil producers within its emerging market debt fund as China's outbreak of coronavirus feeds into concerns that global economic growth could be set to slow, an executive at the asset manager said.
Oil markets have been plagued by worries that the outbreak could rein in demand for crude during a time of plentiful supply. Some of that concern abated on Jan. 28 as oil prices rose after a five-day losing streak.
Vanguard, which is one of the world's largest investment firms with around $450 billion in fixed income under active management, is not heavily exposed to oil through its emerging market debt fund at present.
However, it is now weighing up reducing that position still further.
"One thing we're considering, in part off the back of the coronavirus and if you see what's happening with oil prices, is should we dial down on even the relative small amount of oil exposure we have?," said Nick Eisinger, principal, fixed income emerging markets.
"What's going on at the moment is pretty macrobearish. The coronavirus is the thing in the news at the moment, but it's more part and parcel, it's another shock to this very fragile economic recovery."
President Xi Jinping said Jan. 28 that China was sure of defeating the virus that has killed 106 people and has spread panic across financial markets.
In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere called the move by California "alarming" and said it would destroy jobs and raises consumer costs.
Crude oil production slipped to 10.7 million bbl/d, down in part due to storm activity that closed offshore drilling sites in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. natural gas futures jumped over 10% on Sept. 23 from a seven-week low in the prior session as output continues to slide, demand edges up and LNG exports increase.