24 June 2013

Understanding US Treasury & Yields

Just when the whole world coming for a rout, only US treasury yields shoot up to multi-months high. Investors might wondering why this happen. Some of our readers are posting these kind of question to us. We think this article might helps.

US Treasury = US Government Bond

Actually, we are referring to US Government 10 Years Bond. Generally, a government bond is issued by a national government (in this case US) and is denominated in the country's own currency (USD). Bonds issued by national government in foreign currencies are normally referred to as sovereign bonds. The yield required by investors to loan funds to governments reflects inflation expectations and the likelihood that the debt will be repaid.

Also, government bonds were usually referred to as risk-free bonds, because governments could easily devalue their currencies or raise taxes to redeem the bond at maturity. 

The Story of US Treasury Yields...
Just like Base-Lending-Rate (BLR) for Malaysia, everything from mortgages to corporate loans in US depends on US treasury yields. Higher yields mean higher borrowing costs. To stimulate the US economy, Federal Reserve had came out with various Quantitative Easing (QE) actions to bring down the said yields, allowing borrowers access to cheap funding. How to bring down yields? Federal Reserve will buy back US treasuries, thus, flooding the market with money. The side effect was a weakening USD.

However, all things will change 360 degree, if Federal Reserve start to slow down or totally stop their so called QE3. This is what happening now, creating uncertainties to global markets.


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