Bonds Beat Stocks Worldwide in Past Month on Demand for Safety

Bonds trounced stocks worldwide over the past month as investors sought the safety of debt amid unrest in Ukraine and the Middle East and signs of uneven economic growth.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index returned 0.9 percent in the month ended yesterday. The MSCI All-Country World Index of shares lost 1.3 percent after accounting for reinvested dividends. Ten-year Treasuries, the benchmark for global borrowing costs, headed for a second weekly gain.

“People want to put their money in a safe haven,” said Yoshiyuki Suzuki, the head of fixed income in Tokyo at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co., which manages the equivalent of $58.6 billion.

U.S. 10-year yields were little changed at 2.41 percent at 10:06 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The price of the 2.375 percent note due in August 2024 was 99 22/32.

Ten-year yields have fallen eight basis points over two weeks. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

The yield will end 2014 at 2.92 percent, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg Aug. 8-13 and published yesterday. The estimate was 3.44 percent in January.

The U.S. and European Union have warned Russia against using aid as a pretext for military intervention in Ukraine. Israel and Gaza Strip militants are observing a truce. President Barack Obama said the danger from radicals in Iraq still requires U.S. involvement.

Treasuries gained yesterday as initial claims for jobless benefits in the U.S. rose last week more than economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast.

Germany’s bonds climbed yesterday, with 10-year yields falling below 1 percent for the first time, as Europe’s largest economy shrank more in the second quarter than analysts predicted.

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