January 2015 is looking a lot like January 2014. The US economy has been improving, the unemployment rate has been coming down, and the Federal Reserve has been increasingly prepping the world for tighter monetary policy.
For most bond market experts, all that means US interest rates are going to head up, especially considering the fact that rates have been falling for three decades.
But Jeff Gundlach is not like most bond market experts.
In a new interview with Barron’s, Gundlach is once again going contrarian and saying rates could go lower than we seen in a very long time:
Where the median economic forecast tabulated by Bloomberg for the 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond yield for year-end 2015 currently stands at 3.24%, Gundlach thinks the 10-year that finished 2014 at 2.17% could potentially take out its modern-era low of 1.38% yield hit in 2012. This would particularly be the case if crude-oil prices keep falling to, say, $US40 a barrel from their 2014 year-end level of about $US55. This further drop from the 46% decline suffered by crude in 2014 would only accentuate deflationary forces he sees at work globally that continue to drop long-bond yields…
…weighing on U.S. bond yields will be brisk foreign buying from investors in Japan and Europe, where long-term sovereign debt bond yields are mostly lower than U.S. rates and economic growth prospects are less bright. “Everybody worried about what would happen to the U.S. government [bond] market when the Fed ended [its third round of quantitative easing] last fall and stopped its heavy monthly government bond purchases,” he points out. “The answer, of course, is that foreign buying easily replaced declining government support of the market. And the strengthening dollar, which we think will continue, only makes U.S. bonds all the more attractive, for not only do foreign investors benefit from higher relative rates, but they also win on currency translation profits.”
(Read the whole story at Barrons.com)
In August, Gundlach warned Business Insider of the deteriorating state of the the European economy, which is on the brink of deflation. Considering the ultra-low yields of euro zone bonds, US bonds still look cheap.
Here’s a longer term look at the 10-year yield.