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The $7.9 trillion pile of negative-yielding debt is growing fast

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Ruth Carson and Chikako Mogi
Bloomberg News
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

For all the hand wringing over the end of ultra-loose monetary policy, the world just doesn't seem able to shake its addiction to negative-yielding debt.

Only two months ago speculation was rife that the Bank of Japan would have to step in to stop yields from rising. Now rates on benchmark bonds are poised to drop back below zero. In Germany there are no positive yields as far as seven years along the curve. And globally, bonds with negative yields total $7.9 trillion -- close to levels seen at the start of the year -- and up from the 2017 low of $5.7 trillion reached in October.

Bonds are back in demand after a sea change in sentiment swept financial markets in recent weeks as the outlook for growth decisively worsened. ...

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