Yields slide to nine-month lows on growth worries

Eurodollar futures –Yields across the government debt curve slid to the lowest in nine-months as fears over a slowdown in the world’s leading economy were accelerated as investors mulled the recent agreement over raising the debt-ceiling. The height of fear was exemplified by the flattest reading of the yield curve since November with the gradient at the two-to-10-year curve falling to 234 basis points. But signs of growing tensions in European debt markets weighed on the Eurodollar futures curve where contracts fell sending implied yields higher at maturities as far forward as 16-months. Adding fuel to the fire on Tuesday was a Commerce Department report showing a decline in consumption by shoppers in June where spending unexpectedly fell by 0.2%. Income rose at just half the expected pace at a 0.1% clip with consumers adding to existing savings rather than choosing to spend. The September treasury note futures contract pared an earlier 20-tick gain to a session high at 126-13 after the data but remains higher on the session at 126-12 where the cash yields reads 2.70%.

European bond markets – Fresh tensions returned to haunt European bond markets. The lackluster growth outlook was served up no favors by the news of $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over a decade as fears circulated that recent signs of slowing growth would ripple further around the world. Euribor futures rose as the yield curve flattened with few investors indicating that the ECB would be in any mood to further restrict monetary policy when it meets on Thursday. Looking at euribor contracts makes you think that a bull market is already well underway with implied yields continuing to slide. September German bund futures remain half a point firmer at 131.67 having earlier made gains of 82 ticks on the day. The 10-year German benchmark was pressured lower to 2.42% after an EU report from the Luxembourg statistical office showed a slowdown in producer price inflation to an annual pace of 5.9% in June. Italian and Spanish yields surged again adding 12 basis points to the level of benchmark yields. Both nations issue shorter-dated bonds later this week. Italian yields rose to the highest since 1997 as investors bet that the European debt crisis remains unresolved.

Japanese bonds – A Nikkei newspaper report implies further monetary easing at this week’s Bank of Japan meeting and predicts expansion of the Bank’s asset purchase plan. With the bull market for interest rates fostering further support from a global slowdown bond yields in Japan also slumped to the lowest in nine-months. September JGB futures added a solid 42-ticks on the day to send the 10-year yield lower the least since November at 1.038%.

Canadian bills – Bill prices are much firmer as Canadian investors return from a holiday weekend. Deferred maturities rose sending implied yields at expirations more than one-year forward lower at a double-digit clip. Preying on sentiment today is the growing fear that the debt resolution in Washington containing $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade adds to an existing slowdown. Government bond futures surged by a full point sending the 10-year yield lower to %

Andrew Wilkinson is a Senior Market Analyst at Interactive Brokers LLC

Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for informational purposes only and is based upon information that is considered to be reliable. However, neither Interactive Brokers LLC nor its affiliates warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither IB nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

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About the Author
Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew is a seasoned trader and commentator of global financial markets. He worked for several London-based banks trading cash and derivatives before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school. Andrew re-joins Interactive Brokers following a two-year stretch at a major Wall Street broker-dealer as their Chief Economic Strategist. His coverage of stocks, options, futures, forex and bonds regularly surfaces in global media, and over the last several years Andrew has made many TV appearances on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC and BNN and Yahoo Finance.

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