Weak data boost bond prices

Disappointing economic data out of the US, China and Europe have propelled Australian bond futures prices higher.

Official figures show that US economic growth slowed to 2.6 per cent in the December quarter, as imports surged and government spending dwindled.

Meanwhile, eurozone consumer prices fell by a record 0.6 per cent in January, confirming deflation could be taking hold for the long term.

There was also disappointing news out of China, with manufacturing activity in January contracting for the first time in more than two years.

The bad news drove investors toward haven assets, weakening share markets, St George senior economist Hans Kunnen said.

“Weaker-than-expected US GDP (gross domestic product) numbers appear to have unsettled the US market,” Mr Kunnen said.

“European markets were also soft.

“The retreat from equities saw US treasuries rise (yields fall).”

At 0830 AEDT on Monday, the March 2015 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.630 (implying a yield of 2.370 per cent), up from 97.595 (2.405 per cent) on Friday.

The March 2015 three-year bond futures contract was at 98.130 (1.870 per cent), up from 98.070 (1.930 per cent).

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