Market Graphic: Speculative-grade default rates

Speculative-grade corporate default rates in Europe continue to remain exceptionally benign, with Moody's 12-month rolling default rate at 0.7% compared with 3.0% in April 2007. This is in stark contrast to the US, where the speculative-grade default rate had its fifth consecutive rise to 2.1% (with five defaults occurring in the last month alone), almost doubling since it bottomed out in November 2007, and around 60bp above the level seen the same month, one year ago.

Separately, S&P in its

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