Bond Rout Reignites as U.S. Stimulus Bets Overshadow Quarter-End
The U.S. economic reopening trade is back in full force, sending 10-year Treasury yields up to 1.77% for the first time since January 2020.
With the Biden administration rolling out plans to accelerate the vaccine campaign and rebuild U.S. infrastructure, investors are doubling down on bets on the U.S. economic recovery. Yields on bonds climbed to fresh highs on Tuesday and the dollar strengthened.
The selloff surprised some market participants, who anticipated a period of grace in bond markets this week. Quarter-end re-balancing flows into bonds from stocks had been expected to boost demand in the short term. So anyone positioned for a wave of buying might feel some pain. Plus, the start of Japan’s new fiscal year on April 1 also had many expecting fresh demand from one of the biggest buyers of Treasuries in the past.
“While there was an expectation that quarter-end rebalancing out of equities and into Treasuries would support Treasuries, we have yet to see that develop,” said Larry Milstein, senior managing director and head of government debt trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co. “The market’s focus has instead been on inflation and massive fiscal stimulus, which is weighing on bonds.”
Yields on five-year Treasuries rose above 0.9%, followed by a block sale in the notes, before touching their highest level in 13 months. Treasury 10-year note futures volumes were running 50% over 20-day average levels from 7 a.m. in London up to the start of the U.S. session.