Treasury Bond ETFs Weakening on Foreign Demand Concerns

Treasury yields are rising and bond-related exchange traded funds are falling after the Bank of Japan revealed its intention to scale back its monthly bond purchases Tuesday and Chinese officials recommended slowing U.S. treasury purchases Wednesday.

The iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEArca: IEF) was flat Wednesday after paring early loses, which follows a 0.5% decline in the previous session. Meanwhile, yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries were now hovering around 2.55%, its highest level since March 2017.

Treasury bond traders remained anxious Wednesday after senior government officials in Beijing reviewed the nation’s foreign-exchange holdings and recommended slowing or halting U.S. Treasury bond purchases, Bloomberg reports.

“With markets already dealing with supply indigestion, headlines regarding potentially lower Chinese demand for Treasuries are renewing bearish dynamics,” Michael Leister, a strategist at Commerzbank AG, told Bloomberg. “Today’s headlines will underscore concerns that the fading global quantitative-easing bid will trigger lasting upside pressure on developed-market yields.”

The China speculation comes as global debt markets were already weakening amid signs that central banks are easing bond-purchasing stimulus programs.