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Investors Flock to Short-Term U.S. Government Bonds Amidst Market Volatility

Investors are turning to short-term U.S. government bonds as a safe haven amidst the recent upheaval caused by a surge in longer-term yields. According to Lindsay Rosner, head of multi-sector investing at Goldman Sachs asset and wealth management, investors are attracted to the higher yields offered by 1-year Treasury bills. An auction this week of 52-week Treasury bills at a 5.19% rate was significantly oversubscribed, indicating strong demand.

The strategy of investing in short-term government bonds is being adopted by institutions and wealthy investors as a way to navigate the current market conditions. The recent climb in the 10-year Treasury yield, reaching a 16-year high of 4.89%, has prompted investors to seek better opportunities in the short-term. Over $1 trillion was poured into new T-bills last quarter, according to Bloomberg.

Rosner suggests that if the expectation of higher interest rates holds true, longer-duration Treasuries like the 10-year could offer better yields in the future as the yield curve steepens. By collecting a 5% coupon for the next year, investors may then have opportunities for higher yields in longer-duration Treasuries or properly priced corporate bonds.

While 10-year Treasuries have experienced a recent decline, other fixed income instruments such as investment-grade and high-yield bonds have not fully reflected the change in rate assumptions. This makes them less attractive at the moment but could present opportunities in the future.

Professional managers are also reducing the average duration of their portfolios in response to the market volatility. Ben Emons, head of fixed income at NewEdge Wealth, highlights the high demand for Treasury bills as a means to manage portfolio duration.

In conclusion, investors are flocking to short-term U.S. government bonds as a way to navigate the current market volatility caused by rising long-term yields. This strategy allows them to take advantage of higher yields in the short-term while positioning themselves for potential opportunities in longer-duration Treasuries or properly priced corporate bonds in the future.

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