Stocks down, stocks up. Gold up, gold down. Here’s another sign that markets can’t seem to focus on a trend for more than one day: On Thursday, investors turned up their noses at a $16-billion (U.S.) auction of 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds – that’s right, a day after investors were scrambling for such government bonds amid fears of a global economic downturn.
According to Reuters, investors showed the weakest overall demand for the bonds in two-and-a-half years and foreign investors in particular were largely absent from the auction. The bonds sold at a yield of 3.75 per cent, considerably higher than the 3.62 per cent yield that had been expected.
Meanwhile, bond prices were getting crushed as yields surged (prices and yields move in opposite directions). The yield on the 30-year bond bounced 5.6 per cent, to 3.7 per cent. The yield on the 10-year bond rose 8 per cent, to 2.26 per cent – marking by far its biggest gain this year, in a move that comes just a day after the yield hit its lowest level since the financial crisis two years ago.
Bonds weren’t the only havens that investors were running from, as safety gave way to a sprint for economically cyclical stocks. Gold fell to $1,746 (U.S.) an ounce, down $47.
As for stocks, the Dow Jones industrial average was recently up 356 points or 3.3 per cent.