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The seal of the U.S. Treasury Department. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The trade war has been a boon for U.S. bonds, which had already seen significant buying for most of 2019.

Driving the news: U.S. Treasury yields fell to a 6-week low on Monday, as investors pushed yields on the benchmark 10-year notes back towards their lows of the year. And data shows investors are snapping up every kind of U.S.-issued bond they can get.

Details: Data from Lipper shows U.S. core bond funds took in $32.6 billion in the first quarter, the second-highest inflows in history. That trend has continued in Q2, as net inflows have totaled $16.9 billion to date.

  • Reuters' Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss notes that data from the U.S. Treasury Department shows foreign buyers made net purchases of U.S. bonds to the tune of $11.3 billion in January and February (the latest available data) and EPFR Global data shows U.S. investment grade and high yield bonds also saw inflows and strong returns in Q1.
  • That's a complete reversal from 2018, which saw $35.6 billion leave bond funds in Q4, the worst quarter ever for bond fund outflows, Lipper's data shows.

What's happening: The trade war is exacerbating red-hot demand for the safety of the U.S. bond market that was ignited by the Fed's interest rate reversal in January. When central banks raise interest rates, it reduces the value of already-held bonds.

Go deeper: China will raise tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden weighs retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star general Lloyd Austin as his nominee for Defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
1 hour ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.