NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bond investors were the most bullish about owning U.S. longer-dated government debt since September 2016, a couple of months before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, a J.P. Morgan survey showed on Tuesday.
Investors have piled into cash and low-risk Treasuries in recent weeks on worries over slowing global growth and trade tensions between China and the United States.
Moreover, the Federal Reserve in late January took back its promises of “further gradual increases” in interest rates, and said it would be “patient” before hiking rates again.
The share of investors who said they were “long,” or hold more longer-dated Treasuries than their portfolio benchmarks, exceeded those who were “short,” or hold fewer longer-term government debt issues than their benchmarks, by 9 percentage points. This was the widest margin since Sept. 12, 2016, J.P. Morgan said.
Last week, the share of investors who were “short” was greater than the share of “long” investors by 3 percentage points.
On Tuesday, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were 2.670 percent, down from 2.704 percent a week ago.
Thirty percent of the investors surveyed said they were long on U.S. government bonds, up from 25 percent the previous week.
The share of investors who said they were short Treasuries declined to 21 percent from 28 percent a week earlier.
The percentage of investors who said they were “neutral,” or holding Treasuries equal to their portfolio benchmarks, edged up to 49 percent from 47 percent a week earlier, J.P. Morgan said.
Active clients, which include market makers and hedge funds, were net long in longer-dated Treasuries by 10 percentage points, the most they have been net long since Dec. 17. They swung from a net short of 10 points in the prior week.
Trump won the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016.
Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Bernadette Baum