Turkey Woes Help U.S. Treasury ETFs Break Out

U.S. Treasury bond ETFs were breaking above their long-term trends as investors sought safe havens plays in response to the economic uncertainty in Turkey and the potential fallout that could affect other global markets.

On Friday, the PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury Index ETF (NYSEArca: ZROZ) advanced 1.4%, Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF (NYSEARCA: EDV) gained 1.4% and  iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ: TLT) increased 0.9%. The U.S. Treasury bond ETFs were also trading back above their short- and long-term trends at the 50- and 200-day simple moving averages.

Meanwhile, yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes slipped to 2.862% Friday, compared to 2.935% Thursday.

“We really saw a flight to quality,” Larry Milstein, managing director of Treasury and Agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co., told the Wall Street Journal. “The question is if this leads to contagion, but I think it’s a one-off event.”

Lira Currency Sell-Off Worries

Investors were worried that the lira currency sell-off could cause Turkish borrowers to renege on debt obligations to foreign lenders, notably European banks, and cause wide reaching effects on the global markets. Consequently, the relative safety of U.S. Treasuries may have attracted wider global appeal in face of the risks.

Yields on Treasuries slipped following President Donald Trump’s tweets that indicated the U.S. would double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey due to the country’s refusal to free an American pastor.