# Flattening of the U.S. yield curve

Flat yield curve If you are unfamiliar with the term yield curve it is essentially a graph which plots the maturity of government bonds against the interest rate they offer - obviously the healthiest is when longer term bonds yield the highest rates. So how does the central banks interest rate decisions get transmitted to the wider economy? What is informative is comparing the slope of two countries yield curve as a guide to how the interest rate differential might change over time. When it comes to the yield curve, an inverted one specifically, has preceded all but one of the seven recessions since the 60s. CFDs allow traders to benefit from both the drop or the rise of the underlying asset's movement.

The yield curve is just a chart which shows these market rates for different maturities or terms. When trading a currency pair, the yield curves for the two currencies can reveal a wealth of valuable information. They tell you the expectations for the economies and the likely interest cycles.

## What is a yield curve?

This confidence in the economy isn't unfounded; unemployment is at its lowest levels since - basically pre-recession levels, personal income is up 0. The public's opinion and confidence in the economy's health is positive. Why are some people then, including Minneapolis Federal Bank President Neel Kashkari , worried about the yield curve then? Certain sectors of the financial markets are even enjoying a swell in activity. Forex traders and brokers for example, are having a great The volatility caused by a certain tweeting world leader, the cloud of divisiveness surrounding Brexit, a weaker dollar and the news that most Central Banks were looking towards slowing QE - have caused a spike in Forex trading volumes this year.

Learn more about how to stay ahead of the markets. On the surface everything seems healthy - but we have seen a five week consecutive drop of 10 year notes yields. This is what is making economists nervous. The rates are currently July 17th at 2. There are two other items here to consider though:. B this means in mid-July the rate margin was a comfortable 0. Using the previous recession as a benchmark, the last time the rate difference between 2 yr.

The curve inverted on December 29th and remained inverted or only showing a few decimal percentage points difference leading into when the recession began. From the time a roughly 0. The economy went into a full-on recession roughly 2.

If you are unfamiliar with the term yield curve it is essentially a graph which plots the maturity of government bonds against the interest rate they offer - obviously the healthiest is when longer term bonds yield the highest rates. This causes an upwards sloping yield. Take the example shown in the table below which are actual U.

S bond rates for bonds of differing maturity taken on the 11 th of April As you can see by the chart the 30 year bond is yielding 4. From such data a yield curve can be constructed as shown in the chart below. The yield curve can be thought of as the combined expectation of market participants as to the direction of interest rates over time.

For example, interest rates are expected to stay low in the US for at least the next 5 years as the US covers from recession, the global financial crisis and a crippling foreign debt. As you know, foreign exchange is traded in currency pairs so looking at one countries yield curve in isolation is not particularly useful. What is informative is comparing the slope of two countries yield curve as a guide to how the interest rate differential might change over time. Apart from the shape of the yield curve, there are three critical observations that will help us understand the interest rate theories to be discussed below.

Since traders are aware of the importance of interest rates in determining forex trends, it should be obvious that understanding the yield curve, and what it signifies can be very useful in trading decisions.

The pure expectation theory is the most straightforward and easy to understand of interest rate theories, and is also the most intuitive for traders. All that matters is the expected interest rate over the maturity term, as perceived by market participants on the basis of real and predicted interest rates.

In mathematical terms, the yield of a long-term interest rate contract will be the geometric mean of yields on shorter-term contracts adding up to the maturity term of the long term contract. In sum, longer term yields are merely a projection of short term rates to the future without any specific properties setting long term rates apart from short-term ones with respect to risk or predictability.

Read more about the pure expectations theory. The pure expectations theory has a clear deficiency in that market participants are not always right about the future. Also, the geometric mean of short term yields across the term structure is rarely a perfect indicator of the future rates over the long term. We often observe that longer-term yields incorporate a premium over the geometric mean, termed the liquidity premium, which is the subject of the liquidity preference theory for the most part.

In mathematical terms, LPT differs in its calculation of the yield curve only with respect to an additional risk premium rp component added to the expected rate of the pure expectations theory.

Read more about the liquidity preference theory. This theory takes LPT and drives it one step further away from PET by stating interest rate contracts across the term structure are not substitutable. The dynamics creating the interest rate equilibrium for each maturity term are born of independent factors, and as such, the PET is invalid.

This approach to the term structure can explain the sloping nature of the yield curve. But since it assumes that term structures depend on independent, it fails to explain why rates across different maturities move simultaneously, albeit often by differing quantities. Read more about the market segmentation theory. Finally, the preferred habitat theory attempts to solve the shortcomings of MST by positing that investors have a preferred habitat for their investments.

Although interest rate expectations do indeed determine the rate-maturity structure at a basic level, investors demand a higher premium, in most cases, for longer maturity debt, due to their preferred habitat in the left-hand side of the yield curve i. Thus, although interest rate expectations do play an important role in determining the shape of the yield curve and as such, maturity terms are substitutable to an extent , there is also a powerful non-substitutable component determining the term structure.

The PHT is generally regarded as the most realistic among the four.

## What is the yield curve?

Forex and the Yield Curve: Understanding Interest Rates Published: November 6, by Forextraders Whether one is a technical or fundamental trader, there is little . (Don't Fear) The Yield Curve From paydayloansbirmingham.gq Commonly cited measures of the term spread, such as the difference between the year and 2-year nominal Treasury yields, have dropped over the past several years (Figure 1, blue line), a trend that has raised concerns and provoked extensive commentary in the financial press. The U.S. yield curve’s recent steepening–after a period of persistent flattening–reminds us that the spread between two- and year Treasury yields reflects much more than the state of the U.S. economy. Global interest rates and monetary policy also play a role in shaping the curve, with a.