Investors are chasing bond yields lower at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis on conviction that the Federal Reserve will cut borrowing costs to contain the fallout from trade tensions.
The yield on two-year Treasuries is headed for the biggest two-day decline since January 2008 after China extended retaliatory tariffs to cover more than two-thirds of imports from the U.S, with Beijing also warning students about the risk of studying in America.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. slashed its targets for U.S. yields on concern that the trade war with will crimp economic growth and force the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.
“The latest developments this week are likely to have lasting damaging effects on business confidence,” JPMorgan analysts led by Matthew Jozoff and Alex Roever wrote in a note. “Growth concerns are unlikely to dissipate over the near term, and could in fact build further.”
Yields on two-year U.S. Treasuries slumped as much as eight basis points to 1.84%, the lowest since December 2017, while those on 10-year notes fell five basis points to 2.07%. That means the extra yield investors get to hold the longer-dated debt is a mere 23 basis points, reflecting pessimism about the outlook for the world’s largest economy.
Yields across the euro area were also lower, with the rate on 10-year German bunds falling one basis point to a record-low minus 0.21%.
JPMorgan predicted that 10-year Treasury yields will slide to 1.75% by the end of the year, compared with an earlier outlook for 2.45%. It sees the two-year yield falling to 1.40%.
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