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Hedge Funds Lead to Treasuries Sell-Off

Jul 17, 2013
Joey Peters

A Financial Times article sources global hedge funds at the forefront of recent sell-off in U.S. Treasuries in a move to dispose U.S. debt in May ahead of rising yields. Private foreign accounts based in the Caribbean, Belgium and Luxembourg – a proxy for hedge funds – sold a combined $51.5bn of US Treasuries in May, official US data show.

Central banks added $40.3bn, with demand from China and France particularly strong, according to the figures released by the US Treasury on Tuesday. Still, both private and official account holders sold $10.3bn of agency debt, such as those sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for the first time since April 2012, according to the article. Sales of Treasuries by private holders in May, however, marked just the beginning of a broader retreat, the article speculates, from the US fixed-income market that accelerated in June, when Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, confirmed the central bank’s intention to slow down its bond-buying program.

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