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Interest rates to increase in 2018

DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach sees interest rates continuing to rise into 2018 as the Federal Reserve moves to tighten monetary policy and Republicans push tax cuts.

“It seems to me that interest rates should continue to rise as we move into 2018,” Gundlach said during CNBC’s “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “The Fed is now letting bonds roll off, the budget deficit is increasing; a tax cut would increase the deficit further.”

As one of Wall Street’s most influential bond gurus, Gundlach’s DoubleLine has assets under management of more than $100 billion, according to its website. He is known for his bold calls in housing markets as well as his current bet against the S&P 500. In August, Gundlach said that he expected volatility to rise and bought five- and eight-month put options on the S&P 500, a bet the index will fall.

The bond manager’s comments on Wednesday come after days of upward movement in Treasury yields ahead of the Fed’s critical rate hike decision. Yields have been on the rise as congressional Republicans drew closer to passing tax reform that would reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. Proponents of the bill claim that while tax cuts will increase the national debt, the additional economic growth will more than make up for the deficits.

“If there is a net tax cut, it has to be bond unfriendly,” Gundlach said. “And to the extent that a tax cut might be stimulative to the economy, that’s bond unfriendly because bonds don’t like economic growth.”

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