102.37 -0.01 (-0.01%)
After hours: 4:36PM EDT
|Bid||101.58 x 1200|
|Ask||103.00 x 1800|
|Day's Range||102.35 - 102.50|
|52 Week Range||100.33 - 108.81|
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A yield curve tracks the yields of Treasury securities maturing at different time periods. The narrowing of the difference between these yields is usually referred to as the “flattening of the yield curve.” The more concerning thing is when the yield curve (BND) inverts, which means that the yields on shorter duration securities increase those on the longer-term securities. The inversion of the yield curve has been a good indicator of an upcoming recession in the past.
Dollar-denominated emerging market bonds and related exchange traded funds are under increased pressure as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, trade tensions escalate and the U.S. dollar strengthens. Year-to-date, the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB) and Invesco Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Portfolio (PCY) , which both track USD-denominated emerging market debt, declined 6.5% and 8.2%, respectively.
GURUSHINA: Well, since you’ve mentioned it, it might be a good idea to talk about your thoughts about the interest rate environment. Because the policy accommodation withdrawal by major central banks is already underway, so do you still expect interest rates, especially rates in the U.S. to go up by the end of the year, and also what about Europe, because Europe was kind of lagging behind the U.S. in this regard?
NATALIA GURUSHINA: Welcome, I’m Natalia Gurushina, Chief Emerging Markets Economist at VanEck. With global rates normalizing, geopolitics still posing major risks, and with one of the longest bull runs in U.S. stocks apparently stalling, 2018 might be a year of paradigm shift. I am here today with VanEck CEO, Jan van Eck, to discuss his outlook, macroeconomic outlook, and also to talk about his views on the most appealing opportunities in this challenging environment. So let me ask you a very simple question first: Is there still an investment case for real assets, including commodities?
The US Fed has clearly communicated its intentions to continue the rate hike path at the June monetary policy meeting, as the US economy continued to expand. The US Fed hiked interest rates by 25 basis points at that meeting and left the doors open for two more hikes in 2018. Rising interest rates increase the cost of owning a home for prospective buyers, but the impact hasn’t yet been felt by the housing (XHB) markets, as the recent economic data continues to paint a rosy picture for the housing sector.
An inverted yield curve, in which short-term yields (SHY) are higher than long-term yields (TLT), is considered as a warning sign for a future recession. The LEI’s economic model uses the yield spread between the ten-year Treasury bond (IEF) and the federal funds rate (TBF) as one of the components. The May LEI report indicated that this yield spread increased from ~1.2 in April to ~1.3 in May. The use of the term “symmetric” along with the inflation target in the May FOMC meeting minutes led to the increase of yield spreads in May.
The US bond market continued to rebound as trade tensions and the limited appreciation in equity markets pushed demand for bonds higher, depressing the bond yields for a second consecutive week. Bond investors seem to be questioning the US Fed’s enthusiasm for higher rates as bond yields continued to retreat. There weren’t any major market-moving economic data releases last week, which could have led to the fall in bond yields.
The US bond market had a limited reaction to the Fed’s 25-basis-point rate hike and the 0.20% increase in interest paid on excess reserves. The spread between the US two-year and ten-year bonds narrowed to 36 basis points, which led to a further flattening of the yield curve in the previous week. The Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND), which tracks the performance of the bond markets, rose 0.06% for the week ended June 15 and closed at 78.92.
Stock and bond ETFs slipped on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve announced another moderate rate hike and stated its intent to raise rates two more times later this year. Following the Fed's announcement mid-Wednesday to raise interest rates 25 basis points, effectively raising the federal funds rate from 1.75% to 2%, the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF) dipped 0.2% and the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) fell 0.3%, which wasn't a surprise as older debt with lower yields become less attractive in a higher rate environment. The Invesco DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) , which tracks dollar movements against a basket of developed currencies, strengthened 0.2% in response to the tightening monetary policy.
Ahead of today's Federal Reserve post-meeting press conference, some traders are targeting popular fixed income ETFs, including the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF) . The $8.50 billion IEF tracks the ICE U.S. Treasury 7-10 Year Bond Index. As its name implies, the fund provides exposure to U.S. Treasury bonds with remaining maturities between seven and ten years.
The real estate sector (VNQ) has been lagging in performance in 2018. The reason for this decline has been the increase in interest rates and expectations of a higher interest rate in the future, which could dent demand in the real estate sector. The performance of the real estate sector has been a roller-coaster ride as interest rate expectations have continued to change with every incoming piece of data over the last few months.
The US bond market had some relief from its ongoing slide as the Fed’s May meeting minutes were less hawkish than expected. The Fed also wants to adjust the rate paid on excess reserves by 20 basis points on June 13, keeping the federal funds spread at 0.25%. Last week (ended May 25), the ten-year (IEF) yield closed at 2.9%, depreciating by 13 basis points.
The 3% ten-year bond yield isn’t a significant level for any reason—it’s a psychological level that has created some market frenzy. The continued increase in bond yields, however, has been worrying stakeholders in the housing (XHB) industry. Recent reports from the housing sector haven’t raised any red flags for the sector at this point, but continued increases in the 30-year mortgage rate along with rising home prices could push prospective buyers away once rates reach higher levels.
Another element that could have possibly boosted gold prices is the forward-looking estimates of higher inflation. The Fed’s assertion that it would let inflation (TIPS) move above its target of 2% is positive for gold. Gold is often considered to be a hedge against inflation.
The US bond markets remained under selling pressure as bond yields, especially at the short end of the curve, continued to shoot up, while the long-term yields remained subdued. The US Fed through its May post-meeting statement said that inflation would reach the 2% target soon, which was interpreted as a signal for a faster pace of rate hikes. An inverted yield curve, where short-term (SHY) yields are higher than long-term yields (TLT) is considered a warning sign for future recessions, and thus the yield spread has a place in the leading economic index.
US ten-year bond market yields have scaled a new seven-year peak at 3.07, their highest level since July 2011. This 100-basis-point move, which happened over the span of a little over eight months, has taken its toll on bond prices. Thanks to rising crude prices, increased chances of higher inflation have been fueling the recent rally in rates.
The benchmark ten-year Treasury bond yields (IEF) have cleared the psychologically important 3% mark again. On May 15, the benchmark yields settled at 3.1% compared to 3% the previous day. That’s the biggest one-day advance since March 2017. The yield was the highest level since 2011.
US bond market yields continue to trend higher, but their overall movement last week was limited. Despite this limited movement, a few takeaways from the week hint at how interesting the bond markets could get in the future. The market’s reaction can be interpreted as investors seeing that the Federal Reserve will stick to its tightening stance in the future and that a change in inflation expectations will drive bond yields.
The initial reaction of the bond (BND) market to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal was a decline in bond yields across the board. The yields, however, failed to stay at these lower levels and quickly bounced back after President Trump’s speech.
US bond market yields cooled off after hitting a four-year high at the end of April. Bond yields fell after the April employment report was lower than expected. The unemployment rate dropped below 4% for the first time in 20 years, which was the highlight of the report.
The largest concern is the May 12 deadline for renewing the nuclear deal with Iran. This week, market volatility could be impacted by the inflation report and any developments surrounding the Iran nuclear deal.
ADP, a human capital management solution provider, releases a monthly report on US non-farm employment. The report captures the change in the number of jobs added across different sectors in the US. ADP claims to process the payrolls of more than 24 million US workers, which provides first-hand insight into the US employment market. The monthly report is prepared using actual and anonymous payroll data from 411,000 US clients that ADP services. The report precedes the monthly non-farm payrolls report from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics). ...
In addition to the US dollar playing on precious metals, US interest rates and the Federal Reserve’s decisions have also historically had a substantial impact on these safe havens. The rising interest rates may be a concern for equities, as companies face a higher borrowing cost. The below chart shows the relationship of gold (GLD) to the US two-year and ten-year interest rates (SHY) (IEF).