The demand for Treasury Inflation Protected Securities is so strong that investors on Thursday snapped up 5-year bonds even though they have negative yields.

The U.S. sold $14 billion of five-year TIPS at a record low auction yield of negative 1.286%, Bloomberg News reports.

“It was strong any way you slice it,” Michael Pond, co- head of interest-rate strategy at Barclays, said in the report. “Clearly, yesterday’s Fed minutes have increased investors’ appetite for TIPS, particularly at the short end of the curve.”

Strong demand for TIPS suggests some investors are expecting more central bank stimulus and inflationary policies.

“The coupon on 5-year TIPS, have been negative since October 2010, as regular yields fell toward all-time lows. The expected inflation rate over that time horizon has remained relatively stable, making the coupon negative when subtracted from the regular yield,” reports Deborah Levine at MarketWatch.

The iShares Barclays TIPS Bond Fund (NYSEArca: TIP) is the largest ETF for this fixed-income sector.

The income that TIPS produce is based on Treasury yields as well as changes in the Consumer Price Index. [TIPS ETFs Hurt by Rising Treasury Yields]

The iShares TIPS ETF is down for August but has rebounded this week with Treasury yields moving lower. The fund climbed back above its 50-day simple moving average on Thursday.

iShares Barclays TIPS Bond Fund

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own TIP.

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