As investors rushed back to the fixed-income market this year, speculative-grade debt have been strengthening. However, with rates Treasury yields rising again, one rate-hedged junk bond exchange traded fund has been outperforming.
The Market Vectors Treasury-Hedged High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: THHY) has jumped 6.0% over the past month, whereas the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG) increased 0.7% and SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: JNK) gained 0.9%. [Fed Speak Reignites Love for Big Junk Bond ETF]
The Market Vectors ETF provides another option to access high-yield, junk bonds. Specifically, the fund’s underlying index employs a type of long/short strategy where it will go long junk bonds and short 5-year Treasury bonds to hedge against adverse movements in interest rates. [Long/Short Bond ETFs That Hedge Against Rising Rates]
Because the ETF balances its long exposure to junk debt with short exposure to Treasury bonds, the investment has an effective duration of -0.12 years. Essentially, a 1% increase in rates would translate to a 0.12% gain for the fund.
Over the past month, yields on 5-year Treasury notes climbed around 91 basis points to 1.73% – bonds have an inverse relationship with yields, so a rising rate corresponds with a falling bond price. Consequently, THHY has been profiting off its short exposure to 5-year notes as Treasury prices declined.
Along with its exposure to short Treasury positions, THHY includes non-investment grade debt securities rated BB 52.0%, B 34.1%, CCC 12.8%, CC 0.2% and C 0.5%.