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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Investing.com; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Even as foreign governments like China have reduced their holdings of U.S. Treasuries recently, appetite has continued to push prices up and yields down, with the benchmark 10-year note yielding its lowest since 2017.

The big picture: One major theme boosting U.S. bond buying has been that Treasuries hold significantly higher yields than comparable government bonds from developed market peers like Canada, Japan and the eurozone. While the U.S. remains the best house in a bad neighborhood, that yield premium is compressing.

What's happening: The differential between U.S. and German yields reached its highest level in modern history in November, but has fallen precipitously since then, notes Bannockburn Global Forex chief market strategist Marc Chandler. Against other countries, yield differentials that were extraordinary have been whittled down from all-time or decade-long highs to cycle lows.

  • U.S. 2-year yields were 85 basis points above Canadian yields in February, the most since the financial crisis, but have fallen to 45 basis points.
  • The 2-year was more than 100 basis points higher than comparable Australian yields just 2 weeks ago and is now just 75 basis points higher.

Why it matters: Market strategists are betting the bond market has further room to run, with rates continuing to fall, but if the U.S. yield premium vanishes, foreign buyers could do so as well.

  • That may also be bad news for the U.S. dollar, as lower bond yields make currencies less attractive to foreign buyers, but could be good news for U.S. multi-national firms who have been struggling with the dollar's prolonged strength. 

Go deeper: Bond yields are at historic lows around the world

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

2 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.

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