The recent “risk on” two day rally in equities has attracted bearish positioning in longer dated U.S. Treasuries via ETFs and related options.
In iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NYSEArca: TLT), the fund itself lost more than $120 million in last week in terms of net assets via redemptions, (however it is worth pointing out that in the context of the size of this fund, at north of $3 billion in AUM, some may find the recent outflow size irrelevant) and we noted reasonably heavy put buying on Monday as well, prior to the New Year holiday.
Looking at TLT’s chart today, the fund is trading below its 200 day moving average once again, as it briefly dipped here seven trading sessions ago.
Treasury bonds have followed a volatile path in terms of price since August, as any weakness in TLT in the $119-a-share level has been met with reasonably sharp reversals higher in the short term.
With TLT opening up on a “gap down” this morning from a technical standpoint, it will be important to watch short term action here, as well as for signs of the return of bearish positioning in Treasuries via “inverse” products such as ProShares UltraShort Barclays 20+ Year Treasury (NYSEArca: TBT), Direxion Daily 30 Year Treasury Bear 3X (NYSEArca: TMV) and PowerShares DB 3X Short 25 Year Treasury Bond ETN (NYSEArca: SBND) for instance.
We have seen spurts of activity on this front throughout 2012, where bearish speculators have piled into trades using any of the aforementioned ETPs and or related options to play lower bond prices/higher bond yields.
iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond
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