Japanese bond yields have turned negative as geo-political tensions with North Korea rise

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda listens to a question during a press conference in Tokyo. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

Benchmark 10-year Japanese government bonds are trading with a negative yield for the first time since November.

The lower yield — which moves inversely to a bond’s price — has been driven by demand for safer Japanese assets amid geo-political tensions with North Korea.

This chart shows the moves:


The yield fell to -0.5% last week when North Korea launched a missile which traveled over Japan. They’re still in negative territory this morning following escalating tensions over the weekend.

The negative yield is also a direct result of Japan’s unconventional monetary stimulus measures. Last year, the Bank of Japan announced that it had a stated target of keeping the yield on 10-year bonds at around 0%.

Global bond yields remain broadly compressed, as higher inflation in developed economies hasn’t materialised this year as expected.

At current rates of 2.16%, benchmark US 10-year treasuries are also trading at the same level as last November, after climbing as high as 2.6% in March.

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