A taste of things to come: more sellers than buyers
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Why would anyone buy low-yield fixed income securities when we know governments around the world are preparing to unload trillions of the things? Bonds are going to be priced like sand at the beach. If you’ve got the bucket — take as much as you want. It looks like UK buyers are starting to rebel as the government starts selling “gilts” as the UK government bonds are called. Bloomberg reports:
U.K. gilts slumped after demand at an auction of bonds fell short of the amount offered, the first time the Treasury failed to attract enough bids at a sale of regular debt in 14 years.
Investors bid for 1.63 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) of the 40-year securities, less than the 1.75 billion pounds of 4.25 percent notes slated for sale, the U.K. Debt Management Office said today in a statement from London.
“Basically it’s the first failed auction,” said John Wraith, head of sterling interest-rate strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London. “They didn’t receive enough to cover it all so the market has obviously sold off extremely heavily.”
The yield on the 10-year gilt jumped 10 basis points to 3.43 percent by 11:45 a.m. in London. The 4.5 percent security due March 2019 slipped 0.84, or 8.4 pounds per 1,000-pound face amount, to 109.02. The yield on the two-year note rose six basis points to 1.30 percent. Yields move inversely to bond prices.
In my thirty years of watching the US treasury market, we’ve never had a failed auction in the US. How long before we see one?