Corporate Finance

Benchmark Yields Dip to 11-Month Low

The drop comes amid new worries over global growth.
William SprouseJanuary 2, 2019
Benchmark Yields Dip to 11-Month Low

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond dropped to 2.66%, its lowest level in 11 months, as investors fled to safety amid fears over a global slowdown and a partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

The 10-year Treasury yield is down nearly 50% from its high in 2018.

“Chinese PMI came in weaker than expected and gave a risk-off tone to global markets. There are now mounting concerns about global growth,” said Justin Lederer, a Treasury analyst and trader at Cantor Fitzgerald.

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“There’s a demand for safe-haven bonds. You see that in U.S. Treasuries, and you see it in German bunds, though that’s in a catch-up, and Japanese 10-years are negative,” he said.

The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 3.02%.

In addition, the yield on the 2-year Treasury fell 3.8 basis points on Monday to its lowest levels since last June. For the month, 2-year Treasuries fell 32 basis points, their largest such move since November 2008.

The dip in the 10-year yield came as U.S. manufacturing showed its slowest growth in 15 months in December, according to IHS Markit. The manufacturing PMI fell to 53.8 in December, down from 55.3 in November. Optimism among senior executives was also at its lowest level in more than two years, according to HIS Markit.

For the year, yields on 10-year and 30-year bonds were up nearly 28 basis points as of Monday, their biggest increase since 2013.

The spread between the 2-year and 10-year bond yield fell to 16.5 basis points as the yield curve flattened.

2018 was expected to be a bearish year for bonds.

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