Global bond markets fell to the tune of a more than $1 trillion loss this week after Donald Trump’s win in the U.S. presidential election. The market value of the Bank of America’s Global Broad Market Index, which tracks 24,000 bonds around the world, fell by $1.14 trillion this week. The only other week that witnessed a drop of $1 trillion or more was during the June 2013 “Taper Tantrum” when bonds sold off after then Fed chairman Ben Bernanke threatened to reduce bond purchases.
Thursday was by far the worst day with a $450 billion drop in the market value of global bonds. (The U.S. bond markets were closed today for Veterans Day.)
It’s as if the more bond investors and traders have thought about the implications of a Trump presidency, the more they’ve become convinced that his administration means higher government spending, a big tax cut, bigger budget deficits, and rising inflation. The yield on the 30-year Treasury jumped the most this week since January 2009. Longer-dated bonds react more strongly than shorter maturities to fears of rising inflation. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to 2.15% on Thursday, November 1o. That’s an increase in yield of 37 basis points in the week. If two auctions can be counted as a trend, demand for long-dated Treasury debt is falling. A $15 billion auction today, Thursday, for $15 billion in 30-year Treasury bonds drew bids for 2.11 times the amount on offer. This “bid-to-cover” ratio is the lowest since February. On Wednesday an auction for $10 billion in 10-year Treasury notes drew a bid-to-cover ratio of just 2.22. That’s the lowest, Bloomberg reports, since 2009.
Odds on a December interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve at its December 14 meeting are back up to 80% today from 76% at the end of last week, according to Bloomberg.
And some bond traders and investors have pointed out during the last two days that increasing expectations of rising inflation are exactly what galvanizes action by the Fed to prevent those expectations from getting ingrained in the market. That raises the odds, these traders say, that the Fed will raise interest rates more frequently–twice instead of once–and sooner in 2017 than expected just a week ago.