Exchange traded funds that invest in U.S. Treasuries rallied Thursday amid the global flight to safety that briefly pushed 10-year note yields below 2% for the first time ever.

Investors were buying U.S. government bonds as markets were roiled by fears the global economy is in a slowdown. European ETFs traded sharply lower on concerns the debt contagion is spreading in the region.

The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NYSEArca: TLT) rallied as much as 3% to a new 52-week high but paired its gains. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Investors rushed into U.S. government debt despite the recent credit downgrade from Standard & Poor’s. [Investors Seek Shelter in Treasury ETFs]

“I think the realization is that there’s economic weakness perhaps over the whole globe,” David Coard, head of fixed income trading at The Williams Capital Group, told Reuters. “The evidence that the market is trading off the weakness is that they seem to be overlooking a higher-than-expected headline CPI number.”

iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond

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