Risk Aversion requires lower US Yields

US treasury prices remain on the front foot with yields plummeting. The middle of the US curve has fallen the most in a week on concerns that Italy will join neighboring Greece in struggling to form a strong government to implement austerity measures following the resignation of Berlusconi. With two governless peripheries, domestic yields are exploding. The inverted Italian yield curve is an economic sign that a recession is near. Italian 10-year product has barreled through that psychological +7% level, a yield that that triggered a call for a helping hand from other struggling peripheries.

The lack of domestic data releases this week has investors focusing on “headline risk”. This has pushed US 10’s through the psychological +2% mark (+1.97%) while economic risk has been tossed to the wayside. Risk aversion trading strategies remain in vogue and one of the reasons why Tuesday’s US three-year auction went so well. The three-year notes attracted the highest demand on record, boosted by investors seeking a refuge from Europe’s sovereign debt problems. The biggest market concern is how well the remaining auctions will fare?

Tuesday was “strong”, but Wednesday’s was “tepid” to say the least. The $24b 10-year sale drew a yield of +2.03%, compared with a yield of +2.016% just before the sale. The bid-to-cover ratio was 2.64, the lowest in two-years, compared to 3.12 from the past eight auctions. Indirect bidders remain robust at +41.6% compared to +44.3% for the past eight sales. Direct bidders purchased +8.2% of the notes compared with an average of +11.5%.

Investors note that the Fed is having no problem finding demand for its short-term bonds as it focuses further out the curve. This is a sign that the strength in the economy seen last month may be ‘short’ lived. Growing demand for shorter-maturity suggests that investors remain concerned that EU sovereign debt crisis may worsen and this despite last month’s US indicators revealing something different.

The market will now focus on the last of this weeks US auctions, the +$16b long bond.

The Nikkei closed at 8,755 up+99.9. The DAX index in Europe was at 5,829 down-132; the FTSE (UK) closed at 5,460 down-107. US indices remain lower with the Dow at 11,911 down-259.


    Other links:

    Market still wants Oil and Gold
    Italian Bonds Encourage Market Madness

    U.S. Ten-Years:


    This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

    Dean Popplewell

    Dean Popplewell

    Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
    Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
    Dean Popplewell