The European Central Bank bond-purchasing program could ignite a rally in the Eurozone fixed-income markets and related bond exchange traded funds.
Speculation on monetary policies has helped Germany- and Italy-specific bond exchange traded notes strengthen over the past year. For instance, the PowerShares DB German Bond Futures ETN (NYSE Arca: BUNL) increased 15.3% over the past year and the leveraged PowerShares DB 3x German Bond Futures ETN (NYSE Arca: BUNT) jumped 52.4%. Meanwhile, the leveraged PowerShares DB 3x Italian Treasury Bond Futures ETN (NYSEArca: ITLT) surged 69.2% and the PowerShares DB Italian Treasury Bond Futures ETN (NYSEArca: ITLY) increased 17.8%.
However, investors should be aware that these country-specific bond ETNs are relatively small and show sparse daily volumes, so people should use limit orders to better control trade executions. Additionally, if the Italy bond ETNs gained more investment interest, the ETNs could come up against creation limits, which could widen premiums and discounts to underlying net asset value. [Creations Stopped in Two Italy Bond ETNs]
Potentially fueling gains in European bonds, ECB president Mario Draghi and the executive board have proposed a 50 billion euro monthly bond purchase program through December 2016, Bloomberg reports.
Bond rates across the Eurozone have been sliding ever since Draghi pledged to do whatever it takes to save the euro currency. For instance, the average yield on Eurozone government debt dipped to 0.7017% January 19, the least since at least 1995 – yields and bond prices have an inverse relationship, so a falling yield corresponds with rising bond prices.