4 Treasury ETFs in Focus as Yields Spike

The U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields increased to a five-and-a-half-month high as strong equity market performance contributed to investor risk appetite. Moreover, talks of a hawkish Fed chair being the Republican favorite and ECB meeting pressure weighed on bond prices. Bond yields and prices move inverse to each other.

4 Treasury ETFs in Focus as Yields Spike

Fed Chair Talks Moving the Market

Stanford University economist John Taylor, a prospective candidate for the Fed chairman, is said to have emerged as the favorite to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen among the Republican senators. Per a Bloomberg report, Republican senator Tim Scott said that the economist secured maximum support from Senate Republicans when President Donald Trump asked for their opinions by a show of hands on who should assume the post.

However, per a Financial Times article, citing PredictIt betting market data, Jerome Powell, a Fed board member still remains the favorite. Although Taylor’s chances jumped from 17% to 31%, Powell remains the most likely candidate to win with 53%. Powell is seen as a candidate who will not steer much from the current Fed policy and is regarded as a centrist.

ECB meeting and Equity Market Rally

Euro zone bond yields saw an increase on market expectations of the European Central Bank announcing a reduction in its monthly monetary stimulus in its next meeting scheduled for Oct 26, 2017. This led to a reduction in interest in bond investing, thus creating pressure on Treasury prices.

Republicans advanced on the tax reform plan promised by Trump. On Oct 19, the Senate passed a budget of $4 trillion in a 51-49 vote, which will allow the Republicans to move ahead with the tax cuts. The tax reform is expected to significantly boost earnings. Moreover, the third-quarter earnings season so far has been impressive. This led to a rally in the stock markets as investors grew more optimistic about Trump delivering on his campaign promises.

Let us now discuss a few ETFs focused on providing exposure to U.S. Treasuries.

iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF)

The iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund (NASDAQ:IEF) seeks to provide exposure to intermediate term U.S. Treasury bonds.

With $7.5 billion in AUM, it charges a fee of 15 basis points a year. It has an effective duration of 7.52 years and a weighted average maturity of 8.27 years. The fund has returned 1.0% year to date but has lost 4.4% in a year (as of Oct 24, 2017). IEF currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High-risk outlook.

iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (GOVT)

The iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (BATS:GOVT) seeks to provide exposure to U.S. Treasury bonds in a wide-maturity spectrum.

It has AUM of $5.4 billion and charges a fee of 15 basis points a year. It has an effective duration of 5.97 years and a weighted average maturity of 7.50 years. The fund has returned 0.7% year to date but has lost 2.9% in a year (as of Oct 24, 2017). GOVT currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium-risk outlook.

Vanguard Intermediate-Term Government Bond ETF (VGIT)

The Vanguard Intermediate-Term Government Bond ETF (NASDAQ:VGIT) seeks to provide exposure to U.S. Treasury bonds in the five-10 years maturity spectrum.
It has AUM of $1.4 billion and charges a fee of 7 basis points a year. It has an average duration of 5.2 years and an average effective maturity of 5.5 years.

The fund has returned 0.6% year to date but has lost 3.0% in a year (as of Oct 24, 2017). VGIT currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium-risk outlook.

iShares 10-20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLH)

The iShares Lehman 10-20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:TLH) seeks to provide exposure to long- term U.S. Treasury bonds in the 10-20 year maturity horizon.

It has AUM of $528.7 million and charges a fee of 15 basis points a year. It has an effective duration of 10.22 years and a weighted average maturity of 13.81 years. The fund has returned 1.9% year to date but has lost 5.0% in a year (as of Oct 24, 2017). TLH currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High-risk outlook.

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