Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said he’s concerned demand for Treasuries will decline and the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster than people expect.
The market won’t be able to rely on the biggest buyers of U.S. debt: the Fed, foreign nations and commercial banks, Dimon wrote in his annual letter to shareholders Wednesday. Increasing consumer and business confidence could boost demand for credit and reduce investor appetite for the haven of Treasuries, he said.
“These three buyers of U.S. Treasuries will not be there in the future,” Dimon wrote. “If this scenario were to happen with interest rates on 10-year Treasuries on the rise, the result is unlikely to be as smooth as we all might hope for.” JPMorgan is one of the 22 primary dealers that underwrite the U.S. debt and trade with the Fed.
The Treasury 10-year note yield was little changed at 1.75 percent as of 7:01 a.m. in London on Thursday, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The price of the 1.625 percent security due in February 2026 was 98 27/32.
Dimon’s bear case matches the consensus among economists surveyed by Bloomberg, who see yields rising through the course of 2016. The 10-year yield will climb to 1.92 percent by June 30 and 2.25 percent by Dec. 31, based on a Bloomberg survey of economists with the most recent forecasts given the heaviest weighting.
Fed policy makers reached a broad agreement to go slowly in raising U.S. interest rates due to increasing global risks, according to minutes of their March meeting published on Wednesday.
“Several expressed the view that a cautious approach to raising rates would be prudent or noted their concern that raising the target range as soon as April would signal a sense of urgency they did not think appropriate,” according to the minutes of their March 15-16 gathering.
Treasuries returned 3.2 percent in the first three months of 2016, the biggest quarterly gain in almost four years, based on Bloomberg World Bond Indexes. The market rallied as a decline in stocks and oil sent investors to the safest securities.
Japan’s investors pared their holdings of foreign bonds at the fastest pace in almost 10 months as they adjusted positions before the start of the fiscal year. They sold a net 1.6 trillion yen ($14.7 billion) in overseas debt during the week ended April 1, the most since June, according to Ministry of Finance data released Thursday.
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