Bond investors with a broad exposure to different types of US securities are facing their first negative year of performance since 1999 – and only their third annual loss since 1976.
投资于多个类别美国证券的债券投资者迎来自1999年以来第一个负回报年份，这是他们自1976年以来仅仅第三个亏损年份。This poor performance of the US bond
market reflects the large rise in benchmark US Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices.
With the Federal Reserve having announced that it will taper its bond buying from January, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield remains just shy of 3 per cent, up sharply from its low of 1.60 per cent in May.
As the Fed reduces its purchases of Treasury and mortgage bonds next year, the prospect of further losses beckons as long-term yields rise.
The Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond index in the US – which is dominated by Treasury, mortgage and corporate securities, and acts as the main benchmark for institutional money – is set to record its first negative year of total returns since 1999. In that year, like 2013, equities posted a strong performance.
巴克莱资本美国综合债券指数(Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond index)将迎来自1999年来第一个总回报为负值的年份。1999年像2013年一样，股票市场表现很强劲。该指数主要由美国国债、抵押贷款债券和公司债券构成，是机构债券投资的主要基准。
The benchmark is down by 1.8 per cent and, while this is less than its 2.92 per cent fall in 1994, Barclays says its bond market index looks set to record only its third annual negative total return since records began in 1976.
Edward Marrinan, head of credit strategy at RBS Securities, said it was rare to see a yearly loss across the broad bond market. “This year the sizeable volatility and rise in long-term Treasury yields has been the culprit.
苏格兰皇家银行证券(RBS Securities)信用策略主管爱德华•马里南(Edward Marrinan)说，债券市场整体年度亏损的情况很罕见。“今年长期美国国债收益率的波动与上涨幅度很大，这是罪魁祸首。”
“Investors now see that bonds can lose money – and the Fed’s exit strategy will cause further collateral damage next year, if we see an aggressive rise in Treasury yields.”
Treasury debt makes up 35 per cent of Barclays’ Aggregate US bond index, followed by mortgage securities at 29 per cent, with corporate bonds making up roughly 22.5 per cent. Almost $1tn of money managed in mutual funds is benchmarked against the index. However, it has become more sensitive to interest-rate changes, because it contains a higher proportion of rate sensitive bonds, as the volume of outstanding mortgage securities and municipal debt has been shrinking.
“The sensitivity of the Aggregate to rate rises is extraordinarily high, and only part of that is due to the distortion of QE,” said Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock.
“A few years ago, bond investors had natural diversification and they could pick and choose among a smorgasbord of fixed-income products, where now net new supply is largely Treasuries and investment grade.”
The bright spot in bond market has been junk-rated debt, which gave a total return of nearly 7 per cent, as the default rate for companies with lower credit quality remains low.