By Kevin Flanagan, WisdomTree Investments
Special to the Financial Independence Hub
Do global bond yields matter anymore? Following the results of Election Day and the subsequent response in the U.S. bond market, this was certainly a valid question. Indeed, with U.S. Treasury (UST) yields ascending rather visibly, a key investment force (relative yield advantage vs. the rest of the G7 universe) that had helped keep UST yields in check, if not push them even lower, seemed to fall off the fixed-income radar.
With the first quarter of 2017 now in the books, and the markets almost five months removed from the U.S. election, we thought it would be useful to provide some insight as to where the UST 10-Year yield resides now, and consider whether the relative yield advantage still exists.
While it has not always been a one-way street to the upside, G7 10-year yields have all risen to varying degrees, with the one notable exception being the UK, where gilts have actually seen a decline of 6 basis points (bps) since November 7. Italian 10-year yields fall on the other end of the spectrum, as the 10-year has experienced an increase of 61 bps, while the gain in France has been pegged at 50 bps. To put this in some additional perspective, the rise in the UST 10-Year was +56 bps. Rounding out the 10-year yield tallies: Canada +41 bps; Germany +18 bps and Japan +12 bps.
It should also be noted that the experience thus far in 2017 seems to have been a bit more country/region specific and not just the kind of broader move in global rates that investors have witnessed before. To be sure, here in the U.S., Treasury yields have been responding to developments in Washington D.C., such as the Fed pushing up its first rate hike three months earlier than expected and continued political headlines in the first few months of the Trump administration.