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Bond Purge Continues As Yields Hit Yearly Highs

Monday, November 14, 2016 9:17
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The recent bond sell-off continued to intensify this morning, as investors dump long-term debt amid interest rate hike and rising inflation fears.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note reached a high of 2.301% Monday, up from 2.118% on Thursday. U.S. government bond markets were shut Friday. Treasury yields, which rise as prices fall, are hovering around their highest level since last December after recording their largest one-week gain in more than three years following Mr. Trump’s election victory last week.

Big moves in the bond markets aren’t just happening in the U.S., either. German government debt yields surged to their highest levels since January as well.

“Trump’s election has been viewed as a game changer, with the potential for fiscal stimulus, pro-business reforms and protectionist measures all being priced into markets,” said Mitul Patel, head of interest rates at Henderson Global Investors.

What’s more, the odds of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve are surging. The consortium meets next month to determine what action, if any, it will take, and the markets are clearly expecting rates to tick up.

The likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates next month rose to 81.1% Friday, according to moves in Fed fund futures tracked by CME Group, up from 71.5% the previous day.

This confluence of factors could lead to much more bond selling as we head toward 2017 — which is why many investors are turning to short duration bonds to try and mitigate the potential damage from holding long duration bonds.

The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ:TLT) fell $0.62 (-0.51%) to $121.42 per share in Monday morning trading. Year-to-date, the largest fund tied to long-term government bonds has risen just 0.74%.

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