Column-Hedge funds put document wager on greater 2-year U.S. bond yield: McGeever

Column-Hedge funds put document wager on greater 2-year U.S. bond yield: McGeever

Column-Hedge funds put record wager on higher 2-year U.S. bond yield: McGeever
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By Jamie McGeever

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – Hedge funds entered February holding their largest ever quick place in two-year U.S. Treasuries futures.

That is what probably the most up-to-date Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee (CFTC) information exhibits, and it suits hand in glove with the rise within the two-year yield to a 16-year excessive final week and probably the most inverted 2-year/10-year yield curve in 40 years.

The CFTC positioning information is for the week ending Feb. 7. It’s lagging by three weeks on account of a cyber assault a month in the past on the derivatives platform of ION Group, which has delayed buying and selling companies’ reporting.

Nonetheless, it’s the newest snapshot of how speculative accounts are enjoying the dramatic repricing of Fed expectations and the quick finish of the U.S. bond market.

As of Feb. 7, funds’ internet quick place in two-year Treasury futures stood at a document 658,802 contracts, up by greater than 80,000 contracts from the week earlier than.

Graphic 3: CFTC 2-year Treasuries – document internet quick place,

If funds have remained on the proper aspect of the continued rise in yields since then, their quick place might be even better now.

Alternatively, the extra the document quick place grows and the upper yields go – 5% for an basically risk-free funding might be tempting to many – the nearer the bond market is to a robust rebound.

Graphic 1: US 2-year Treasury yield – highest since 2007,

A brief place is actually a wager that an asset’s worth will fall, and an extended place is a wager it is going to rise. In bonds and rates of interest, yields and implied charges fall when costs rise, and transfer up when costs fall.

Hedge funds take positions in short-dated U.S. charges and bonds futures for hedging functions and relative worth trades, so the CFTC information will not be reflective of purely directional bets. However it’s a fairly good information.


The 2-year yield final week reached 4.95%, the very best since July 2007. It rose 60 bps in February, the third steepest month-to-month climb since 2008.

This historic rise has crushed the 2s/10s yield curve to a 90 foundation factors inversion. An inverted curve has lengthy been seen as a dependable indicator of recession, however many are questioning its usefulness within the topsy-turvy post-pandemic world.

Analysts at Deutsche Financial institution (ETR:) reckon present yields will entice loads of consumers. They see the two-year yield falling to three.55% within the third quarter and three.15% by the top of this yr.

Graphic 2: US 2s/10s yield curve – inverted by 90 bps,

The market’s repricing of the U.S. price outlook this yr has been staggering. Initially of February the implied peak for the present cycle of rate of interest rises was below 5% and the year-end price was round 4.40%.

However punchy inflation and financial exercise information, and subsequent preventing discuss from Fed officers have redrawn the map: the terminal price final week topped 5.50% and the year-end price rose above 5.30%.

Maybe most exceptional of all, the anticipated inflation price implied by the yield distinction between strange and inflation-linked two-year Treasury bonds has smashed by 3%. Barely six weeks in the past it was 2%.

Put all that collectively and the thought of the Fed lifting the fed funds price to six% this yr is now not the stuff of untamed fantasy it was only some months in the past.

A lot so, hedge funds are additionally re-building their quick place in SOFR rate of interest futures contracts after they appeared to have fully thrown within the towel on greater charges bets.

Funds had been internet quick 209,302 three-month Secured In a single day Financing Price contracts within the week ending Feb. 7, the largest internet quick place this yr.

Funds’ internet quick SOFR place reached 1 million contracts on the finish of final August. That was steadily worn out over the subsequent 5 months as merchants wager that the Fed would quickly pivot in the direction of a pause then begin slicing charges this yr.

The stampede to wager on greater charges exhibits that speculators have flipped once more, solely this time far more rapidly.

(The opinions expressed listed here are these of the writer, a columnist for Reuters.)

Associated columns:

– Charges market overshoot – or no man’s land?

– Funds begin 2023 quick {dollars}, eyeing U.S. price peak

(By Jamie McGeever; Modifying by Bradley Perrett)

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