Displaying items by tag: Treasuries
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.
Bond volatility continued to explode last week due to growing contagion fears from U.S. banks. Last Monday, after a weekend in which the U.S. government intervened to protect depositors of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the 2-year U.S. note yield experienced its biggest one-day fall since October 20th, 1987. Outside of U.S. hours, it dropped the most since 1982. That intraday drop of close to 60 basis points even exceeded the declines during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, and 1987’s Black Monday market crash. Gregory Staples, head of fixed income North America at DWS Group in New York told MarketWatch that the week’s decline in the 2-year U.S. yield came as the result of “de-risking of portfolios and draining of liquidity, stemming from concerns about the health of the U.S. banking system, exacerbated by questions about the future of Credit Suisse.” The ICE BofAML Move Index, which measures bond-market volatility, surged on Wednesday and Thursday to its highest levels since the fourth quarter of 2008, during the height of the Financial Crisis. Volatility then continued on Friday over concerns around First Republic Bank. This sent Treasury yields plunging, one day after they spiked on the news of a funding deal.
Finsum:Last week, the ICE BofAML Move Index, a measure of bond-market volatility, soared to its highest levels since the 2008 Financial Crisis as banking concerns continue.
Over the past two weeks, Treasuries have been considered a safe haven for investors amid the current turmoil in the banking system. While Monday offered a quick respite as investors learned of the news that UBS is rescuing Credit Suisse in a $3.24 billion deal, yields are expected to move lower in the days and weeks ahead if the turmoil continues. Kelsey Berro, a portfolio manager in J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s global fixed-income group told Barron’s that “The direction for Treasury yields should be lower." She added that “This month’s bank-related volatility shows that high-quality bonds are working as a portfolio diversifier this year.” Rick Bensignor, managing partner of Bensignor Investment Strategies concurs. He told Barron’s that he thinks Treasury prices will go higher, pushing yields lower. He says that he “Can see the 10-year Treasury’s yield falling to 3.2% or even 3.1%, compared with 3.48% on Monday afternoon.” Bensignor expects that “There will be more banks that are going to let us know how much trouble they are in. It’s going to force people into the safety of the bond market.”
Finsum:While Monday offered a brief respite, treasuries yields are expected to move lower if the upheaval in the banking system continues, according to bond strategists.
When stocks are down like they were last year, investors usually look towards treasuries for safety. But last year was unlike any other year. While the S&P 500 fell 18%, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond index slumped 13%. However, a year like 2022 is unlikely to happen again any time soon. According to analysts, that leaves “room for those bonds to reclaim their role as a core risk-off allocation for asset owners this year.” For example, when SVB Financial Group recently announced hefty losses, the S&P 500 index fell 3.4% between March 8th and March 13th. But investors looking for a safe haven in long-dated Treasuries sent yields plunging, providing bondholders with a gain of more than 4%. Many analysts expect the conditions that led to close correlations between the stock and bond market “to prove ephemeral.” According to Jason Vaillancourt, global macro strategist with Putnam Investments, the biggest risk for those strong correlations is when "The Fed gets really fired up to fight inflation, as with the central bank's 'uh-oh' moment last year — when inflationary pressures it had deemed transitory proved anything but, forcing the central bank to shift aggressively to catch-up mode.” He added, “With the Fed frontloading its fight against inflation last year, the conditions required to maintain correlations at 1 this year are unlikely to persist.”
Finsum:With the Fed front-loading its fight against inflation last year, the conditions that led to a high correlation between the stock and bonds markets, aren’t likely to persist.
Investors poured into U.S government bonds Monday after last week’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. This sent Treasury yields plunging. The 2-year Treasury yield was recently trading at 4.06%, down 100 basis points or a full percentage point, since Wednesday. This marks the largest three-day decline for the 2-yield since Oct. 22, 1987, when the yield fell 117 basis points. That move followed the October 19th, 1987 stock market crash, which is also known as “Black Monday.” The yield on the 10-year Treasury was down just under 20 basis points. Prices soared and yields fell after news of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Regulators took over the bank on Friday after mass withdrawals on Thursday led to a bank run. Regulators announced on Sunday that they would guarantee Silicon Valley Bank’s depositors. With fears of contagion across the banking sector spiking, investors looked to government bonds for safety. Investors are also rethinking how aggressive the Federal Reserve will be with rate hikes after the bank’s collapse. This helped to send short-term yields lower. The Fed is meeting next week and was expected to raise rates for the ninth time since last March. However, Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse may change that. Goldman Sachs certainly thinks so. The investment bank no longer thinks the Fed will hike rates, citing “recent stress” in the financial sector.
Finsum:After Silicon Valley Bank’s recent collapse, fears of contagion across the banking sector spread, driving investors into Treasury bonds, which sent yields tumbling.