"We expect the default rate to continue its upward trend," Ou said. "We expect significantly higher default rates in the metals & mining and oil & gas sectors in particular, especially in the United States."
Fitch noted that the speculative-grade default rate will reach 4.2 percent by the end of the year, climbing from the current 3.4 percent.
Fitch added that the default rate will more than double from 2 percent in 2015.
Commodity sectors continued to contribute to the number of bankruptcies in January, according to the press release.
In January, Moody’s said energy was the key driver of liquidity downgrades.
Oil prices fell by 34 percent in 2015, mostly because of prolonged global oversupply. Brent crude reached an 11-year low last December.