Weak GDP number fuels bonds

January 30, 2015 09:05 AM

Susanne Walker is a journalist with Bloomberg News

Treasuries rose, pushing bond yields to record lows, as a report showed the U.S. economy expanded at a slower-than-forecast rate in the fourth quarter, stoking concern the global slowdown is becoming a drag on American growth.

Benchmark 10-year yields fell to a 20-month low as prices plunged in Europe by the most since 2009, amplifying the threat of worldwide deflation. Treasury 10-year note yields were higher than 18 developed nations, fueling demand.

“The record low reflects a U.S. economy that’s not as hot as many had hoped heading into 2015,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, which manages $61 billion in assets. “The much- bigger intermediate trend is the amount of money flowing into the U.S. from overseas.”

Benchmark U.S. 10-year yields fell nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 1.67% as of 9:16 a.m. New York time, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The 2.25% note maturing in November 2024 rose 25/32 or $7.81 per $1,000 face amount, to 105 ¼.

The 30-year bond yield declined to an all-time low 2.24%.

Bond Rally

Treasuries headed for a fourth monthly gain and a gauge of sovereign-bond yields around the world was near a record low. U.S. 10-year yields are about 76 basis points higher than the average for their Group-of-Seven peers, up from last year’s low of 37 basis points in February.

“The flows are searching for any source of return,” said Jim Vogel, head of agency-debt research at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee. “Treasuries stick out not because they not attractive, but because they are the least unappealing.”

Gross domestic product grew at a 2.6% annualized rate after a 5% gain in the third quarter that was the fastest since 2003, Commerce Department figures showed.

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