As the bull market continues its forward momentum, the appetite for risk is following close behind as bond buyers are purging government debt for higher yields in corporate bonds of investment-grade quality. Despite Treasury yields nudging higher today, “bond buyers also sold their holdings of long-dated government paper to make room for an influx of corporate debt, accelerating this week’s yield climb,” per a report from MarketWatch.
“Rising Treasury yields also reflect competition from a robust corporate bond new issue market,” said Jody Lurie, a corporate credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Furthermore, there has been an influx of fixed-income investor capital into investment-grade corporate bond issues, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. An inflow of $120 billion into investment-trade corporate debt is on track to beat the $135 billion sold in the same month a year ago.
“Rising sovereign and non-financial corporate leverage is a global phenomenon. Debt levels of non-financial corporates have risen above the pre-crisis levels after a period of decline,” Blackrock noted in a recent research report. “And smaller financial sector balance sheets have reduced liquidity in credit markets.”
“The silver lining: Lower interest rates make the cost of servicing this debt much cheaper than a decade ago, and maturities have been lengthened, providing resilience to rising rates,” the report added.