Fixed-income yields may be moving higher after falling to multi-decade lows. However, bonds and Treasuries-related exchange traded funds could see losses limited ahead of an eventual interest rate hike as low-yields overseas keep pressure on rates at home.
The iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEArca: IEF), which has a 7.66 year duration and a 1.68% 30-day SEC yield, fell 0.3% over the past week after yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries rose back to 2.07%. IEF has fallen off 1.4% over the past three months.
Meanwhile, long-term Treasuries are seeing an even greater sell-off over the past three months, with the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TLT) falling 6.0%, PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury (NYSEArca: ZROZ) declining 12.0% and Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF (NYSEArca: EDV) dropping 11.0%.
However, some market participants believe rates could have more room to fall as many anticipate the Federal Reserve to push off a rate hike and low yields overseas driving more foreign investors into the higher yielding U.S. debt markets, reports Lawrence Lewitinn for CNBC.
“If you look at the sentiment regarding bonds, it has become much more optimistic versus to where it was 12 to 15 months ago,” Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer & Co. “You have a lot more calls for 1 percent” yields on the U.S. 10-year note.
Wald argues that since the European Central Bank enacted its aggressive bond-purchasing program, bond yields across much of the Eurozone, with the exception of Greece, have been on the decline. For instance, the yield on 10-year German Bunds is hovering around 0.36%, even once troubled Spain and Italy yields are below U.S. rates. Bond prices and yields have an inverse relationship, so a falling yield corresponds with higher prices.