Eq: Total Market

For bond traders, 2023 has been one of the most volatile years in recent decades. It’s not entirely surprising given the various forces impacting the market such as inflation, a hawkish Fed, a slowing economy, and significant strains to the banking system.

In a Bloomberg article, Michael Mackenzie and Liz McMormick discussed reasons why these conditions will persist for the remainder of the year. In response, investors are looking to remain nimble and flexible especially given wide swings and a risky environment. 

Bond traders are expecting this uncertainty to continue as long as the Fed continues its hiking cycle and gets clear when it will start cutting rates. A major factor in Treasury inflows has been the slowing economy as recession fears increase, however the labor market continues to add jobs, and the economy continues to expand. Additionally, the recent spate of bank failures and financial stress also was supportive of Treasury inflows. 

Maybe the best illustration of the volatility is the 2-Year Treasury yield which got as high as 5.1%, following Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish comments. And. it got as low as 3.6% a few days later amid the failure of Silicon Valley Bank.

Finsum: The bond market has experienced incredible volatility in Q1. However, odds are that this volatility will continue all year. 


Check your bank statement. Chances are – and this is just a hunch, mind you – it probably doesn’t total anywhere near oh, say, $10.82 billion. Double check it, in fact.

Point is: that’s the total which the global alternative market financing market came in at, according to grandviewresearch.com. Not only that, from 2023 to 2030, it’s expected to catapult at a compound annual growth rate of 20.2%. Fueling the industry’s been the need to access capital for small businesses and individuals. Given the stringent requirements among traditional banking institutions, it was that much tougher for many to secure loans. Enter alternative finance products. Especially among those who might fall short of meeting the rigid requirements of traditional banks, there’s a greater accessibility to capital through alternative finance products.

While yields have returned, in light of inflation and policy uncertainty, bonds just might have to apply a little elbow grease to deliver the degree of diversification they at one time dispensed, according to blackrock.com.

Treasuries returned 3% in Q1 which is its best quarterly performance since 2020. In an article for Bloomberg, Liz McCormick and Michael Mackenzie covered some reasons for why this outperformance should continue. 


Three of the major factors are expectations of increased demand from Japan, a weeklong pause in auctions, and strong inflows from institutional and retail investors amid higher rates and wobbles for the banking system. 


The next major, market-moving event will be the March jobs report on Friday. Some analysts see the potential for weakness in Treasuries if there is a strong report regarding wages and jobs. This could undermine of the catalyst behind the Treasury rally - expectations that the Fed’s hiking cycle is nearly over. On the other hand, Treasuries could rally with a weak report.


Demand for Treasuries spiked amid the bank failures last month. As a result, yields for short-term notes tumbled to their lowest levels of the year with the 2-year Treasury yield declining by a 100 basis points. It also led to market expectations of the Fed terminal rate declining, while odds of the next Fed move being a cut rather than a hike, also jumped higher.

Finsum: Treasuries outperformed in Q1 with a major catalyst being bank failures which led to a surge in demand for safe-haven assets.


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