The interest rate on the U.S. government’s 10-year Treasury fell below 2 percent on Tuesday morning for the first time since mid-October, as fears over global growth led a flight to safety.
Investors continued to buy sovereign debt amid the selloff in equities with the U.S. 10-year yield falling for a seventh straight session. The 30-year yield fell to 2.555 percent, its lowest since July 2012. Yields have an inverse relationship to bond prices and fall when investors flock to a so-called safe haven asset.
The 10-year Japanese government bond yield broke through 0.30 percent overnight to reach another record low. Meanwhile, the German 10-year Bund continued its path below 0.5 percent to reach a new record low of 0.483 percent amid weak volume in Europe with many countries celebrating the Epiphany holiday on January 6.
“Investors are still living in a world of financial repression,” Patrick Legland, the global head of research at Societe Generale, said in a research note on Tuesday morning.
Bill Blain, a senior fixed income strategist at Mint Partners, explained that the rally in bonds is a carryover of last year’s flight to quality and will send yields even lower.
“Strip it down to essentials and the markets are reacting to second and third order oil crash effects, deflation, Europe and the euro, overlaid by the tsunami of geopolitical risk looking likely to wash up soon,” he said in a morning note. “Get over it, and join the great game of spot the opportunities.”
Over the weekend, Jeff Gundlach, the CEO of investment services firm DoubleLine told Barron’s that he believed the 10-year Treasury yield could test the 2012 low of 1.38 percent if the price of oil fell below $40 a barrel.
Also, there’s room for Bund yields to push lower, according to Legland. Many market participants are expecting the European Central Bank (ECB) to launch a full-scale quantitative easing (QE) program in the next few months, whereby it would enter the market and buy sovereign bonds in large quantities. Legland believes that many investors would be positioning, or “front-running”, this move.
He added that ECB QE could lack the financial and economic benefits needed but predicts that it would still entail the “usual money-printing.”
“That makes us reluctant to fade the Bund rally for now,” he said in his Tuesday note.