Bond yields are crashing in major markets all around the world as fears of a global economic slowdown have prompted investors to seek shelter in low-risk government debt. Both Germany and Japan’s 10-year bond yields are back below zero, marking the first time we’ve seen German yields turn negative since October 2016. As I shared with you last week, the pool of negative-yielding bonds around the globe now stands at a post-2017 high of $9.32 trillion. Yields in Australia and New Zealand have also fallen to record lows, according to Bloomberg.
The Yield Curve Just Inverted. Time to Get Defensive?
Here in the U.S., the yield on the 10-year Treasury has fallen to a more-than-one-year low on a dovish Federal Reserve. As you no doubt know by now, late last week, one very important part of the yield curve inverted for the first time since late 2006. On Tuesday morning, the 10-year Treasury was yielding 2.43 percent, compared to 2.46 percent for the 3-month Treasury—a small but meaningful spread of negative 3 basis points.
A yield curve inversion indicates that investors are anticipating a rate cut in the near future, which itself is a possible sign that economic growth is slowing. As such, inversions have been among the most reliable forecasters of recessions—at least here in the U.S., where each of the past seven recessions were preceded by an inversion.