Market Volatility

Three reasons not to be fussed...

For much of this year, there has been a surprising divergence between share and bond markets with shares up in response to improving growth and bond yields down in response to weak inflation.

Some feared that either bonds or equities had it wrong, but in a way it seemed like Goldilocks all over again – not too hot (ie benign inflation) but not too cold (ie good growth). However, the past week or so has seen a sharp back up in bond yields – mainly in response to several central banks warning of an eventual tightening in monetary policy.

Over the last week or so, 10 year bond yields rose 0.2-0.3% in the US, UK, Germany and Australia. This may not seem a lot but when bond yields are this low it actually is – German bond yields nearly doubled. This caused a bit of a wobble in share markets.

The big question is: are we seeing a resumption of the rising trend in bond yields that got underway last year and what does this mean for yield sensitive investments and shares? Since central banks are critical in all of this we’ll start there....  Read on