Exchange traded funds meant to hedge against interest rates lost ground on Friday, even as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a hawkish statement to the central bank’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. Following the remarks, the Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF (NYSEARCA:PFIX) and the Global X Interest Rate Hedge ETF (NYSEARCA:IRHG) both dropped almost 2%.
Powell said he anticipates that interest rates will remain elevated for a sustained period of time. Commenting on the central bank’s campaign to get inflation under control, the Fed chief added that policymakers will “keep at it until the job is done.”
PFIX has drawn investor attention as the Fed has ratcheted up interest rates in 2022. The fund aims to hedge against interest rate movements by holding a large position in over-the-counter interest rate options that are intended to offer exposure to large upward moves in interest rates and interest rate volatility.
PFIX dipped in Friday’s early trading, adding to a 4% slide on Thursday headed into Powell’s speech. However, the recent dip followed a sizable upswing, including a nearly 8% jump last Friday. Since the Fed’s first rate hike in March, PFIX has climbed 21.7%.
Powell stated: “While the lower inflation readings for July are welcome, a single month’s improvement falls far short of what the committee will need to see before we are confident that inflation is moving down.”
Powell also noted: “Another unusually large increase could be appropriate at our next meeting.”
While Powell signaled another potential “large increase” in the near term and pledged to get inflation under control, he didn’t directly address the terminal rate for the current hiking cycle.
PFIX is attached with a 0.50% expense ratio and has $293M assets under management. Meanwhile, the fund has seen more than $110M of capital flows since March’s hike.
See more information on Fed Chair Powell’s remarks.