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All Eyes on the US Government Ten-Year Bond Yield

US EE Bond

All Eyes on the US Government Ten-Year Bond Yield

There are many factors which have driven the US Government Ten-Year Bond Yield down over the 35-year period from 15.85 per cent in the September Quarter of 1981 to 1.35 per cent in the September Quarter of 2016. While I will discuss these factors in more detail in an upcoming blog, what has struck me is that over recent weeks we have seen the US Government Ten-Year Bond Yield jump by nearly 0.5 per cent from close to a record low of 1.45 per cent to the current 1.93 per cent.

Combined with the Federal Reserve cutting the US cash rate three times in the past few months by 0.25 per cent each, to the current range of 1.50 per cent to 1.75 per cent, the risks associated with an inverted yield curve – where the longer term interest rates are lower than the shorter-term interest rates – seem to have subsided.

Is this increase in the US Government Ten-Year Bonds in anticipation of a trade deal being struck between the US and China? Or, is it in anticipation the US Industrial Production data will see an improvement in calendar 2020?  Or, is it a combination of both?

One thing is observable; and that is any perceived improvement in economic data generally encourages the market to rotate towards companies with more economic-sensitive (or cyclical) attributes. This rotation in the US is visible in the very recent out-performance of “Value relative to Growth”, Small relative to Large, and Emerging Markets relative to the US.

Our friends at Credit Suisse have provided the Factor Relative Performance since 3 October 2019, and I have included some of those major attributes below:

Low PE Companies +7.2%
Small Market Capitalisation Companies +2.7%
EPS Revisions -3.5%
Momentum -7.0%
MSCI World Net Total Return Index in A$ +4.8%

Predicting the duration of any rotation is difficult, particularly in the context where US Government Ten-Year Bonds have been in a bull market for 38 years, notwithstanding several relatively short-term reversals.

Nevertheless, for long-term global investors in the equity market, I strongly believe the best course of action is to follow the lead from our partners at Montaka Global Investments, and simply focus on individual companies which:

  1. Own a high-quality business which is difficult to replicate;
  2. Is in an attractive industry, with structural tailwinds; and
  3. Is undervalued.
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Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery Investment Management, David has over 30 years of industry experience. David is a deeply knowledgeable and highly experienced financial services executive. Prior to joining Montgomery in 2012, David was CEO and Executive Director of Hunter Hall for 11 years, as well as a Director at JP Morgan in Sydney and London for eight years.

This post was contributed by a representative of Montgomery Investment Management Pty Limited (AFSL No. 354564). The principal purpose of this post is to provide factual information and not provide financial product advice. Additionally, the information provided is not intended to provide any recommendation or opinion about any financial product. Any commentary and statements of opinion however may contain general advice only that is prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Because of this, before acting on any of the information provided, you should always consider its appropriateness in light of your personal objectives, financial circumstances and needs and should consider seeking independent advice from a financial advisor if necessary before making any decisions. This post specifically excludes personal advice.

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