The most notable move in asset markets this week was collapse of the US yields. The 10-year Treasury yield, which has exploded since the start of the year on accelerating inflation expectations, tumbled to the lowest level since early March:
Most interestingly, this happened against the backdrop of the release of quite pro-inflationary reports - strong US CPI, stellar retail sales, US labor data. Recall that in March, consumer inflation in the US accelerated to 2.1% YoY, retail sales by 9.8% in monthly terms while unemployment claims rose by 576K (the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic). All three indicators beat forecasts, however expected sell-off in bonds never happened. Moreover, investors began to flow back en masse to long-term bonds. As a result, gold skyrocketed due to lower opportunity costs and the dollar came under pressure.
The strange bond move could be explained by heightened geopolitical tensions, in particular, between Russia and the United States over the Ukrainian issue. There were also reports that the downward movement of yields triggered coverage of short positions in the Treasuries, one of the backers of which was "Bond King" Bill Gross. At the beginning of the year, he advocated shorting Treasuries on a potential surge of inflation. Inflation did accelerate, but there was no surge, so his bond position and his followers could be under pressure.
In my opinion, yields will not be able to hold out for a long time at the levels where they are now after a fairly rapid pullback. The reason for this is unchanged inflation trend in the United States. Recent economic data marked beginning of the accelerating trend in price growth. There are no potential catalysts on the horizon for a sharp slowdown in inflation or that could lead to inflection points in the trend. Considering the instruments most available to trade this idea, gold is striking. It is currently approaching the upper border of medium-term downward trading corridor ($1800)…
…which could be a good selling opportunity if we bet on integrity of the channel. Surely this will require a resumption of growth in yields, but there are all the prerequisites for this. The most important of these is continuing trend in lifting of social restrictions and subsequent emerging consumer impulse that generates price increases. In Europe and in a number of other countries, it is still waiting for its moment.
Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.
High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.