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U.S. Government Bonds Extend Rally

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12/06/2018 | 10:56am EST

By Sam Goldfarb

The nearly monthlong rally in U.S. government bonds showed no signs of slowing Thursday as investors found new reasons to pile into safer assets.

In recent trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was 2.854%, according to Tradeweb, compared with 2.921% Tuesday. Yields fall when bond prices rise.

U.S. markets were closed Wednesday in observance of the day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.

Yields declined anew in the overnight session as traders reacted to the arrest by Canadian authorities of Huawei Technologies Co.'s chief financial officer at the request of the U.S. -- an unexpected development that some analysts said could further weigh on U.S-China trade talks.

Crude oil prices -- the recent decline of which has helped drag down yields by depressing inflation expectations -- were also lower Thursday, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partner producers gathered in Vienna to debate an output deal.

"Right now people need to take off some risk and they're buying Treasurys," said Brian Edmonds, head of interest rates at Cantor Fitzgerald LP. "It's tough to get out in front of that because it seems it's got more room to go."

Thursday's rally in Treasurys was different in one respect from recent trading sessions, in that short-term Treasury yields were falling more than longer-term yields.

In recent trading, the gap between the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields, known on Wall Street as the 2-10 spread, was 0.139 percentage point, according to Tradeweb, up from 0.110 percentage point on Tuesday.

The rapidly shrinking spread has concerned investors because economic recessions have often followed occasions when the two-year yield has exceeded the 10-year yield -- a phenomenon known as an inverted yield curve.

Write to Sam Goldfarb at sam.goldfarb@wsj.com

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