5-year TIPS reopening auctions with a yield of 0.395%, highest in 4 1/2 years

The Treasury just announced that its reopening of CUSIP 912828C99 – creating a 4-year, 4-month Treasury Inflation-Protected Security – auctioned with a yield to maturity of 0.395%. This is the highest yield – and first positive yield – for any 4- to 5-year TIPS since an April 2010 auction generated a yield of 0.550%.

Because this reopened TIPS has a coupon rate of 0.125%, buyers got it at discounted price of $98.85 for $100 of value. However, adding in 8 months worth of inflation appreciation creates an adjusted price of $100.17.

The auction capped a remarkable month of surging yields for shorter-term TIPS. On Dec. 1, this TIPS traded on the secondary market with a yield of -0.048%.

Inflation breakeven rate. With a 5-year nominal Treasury trading to at 1.66%, this sets up an inflation breakeven rate of 1.26% for this TIPS. If inflation averages more than 1.26% over the next five years, this TIPS will outperform a nominal Treasury.

That low breakeven rate indicates the market is pricing in very low inflation in the short term. In addition, the market was aware that November’s 0.54% drop in non-seasonally adjusted inflation will mean a future ding in this TIPS’ accumulated principal.

Reaction to the auction

The broadly-based TIPS ETF (ticker TIP) had been declining all morning, indicating that yields were on the rise. Once the auction closed at 1 p.m., the TIP ETF made a move higher, which generally shows a positive reaction.

TIPS auction reaction

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Bloomberg’s report on the auction noted the first positive yield in four years on this TIPS maturity helped drive demand from big-money investors like foreign central banks:

“There was strong customer demand, likely showing bargain-hunting by the investor base,” said Ian Lyngen, a government-bond strategist at CRT Capital Group LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “It seems to be less about inflationary fear and more about asset managers who have money to put to work in the sector taking advantage of the first positive yield on the five-year since April 2010.”


About Tipswatch

Author of Tipswatch.com blog, David Enna is a long-time journalist based in Charlotte, N.C. A past winner of two Society of American Business Editors and Writers awards, he has written on real estate and home finance, and was a founding editor of The Charlotte Observer's website.
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6 Responses to 5-year TIPS reopening auctions with a yield of 0.395%, highest in 4 1/2 years

  1. Pingback: Up next: New 5-year TIPS will auction April 23, 2015 | Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities

  2. Pingback: Deflation and TIPS: How the numbers bring the ‘pain’ | Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities

  3. Bill Ehart says:

    Thanks a lot!

  4. tipswatch says:

    Bill, thanks for the question, and I hope you keep reading the blog. I don’t follow TIPS mutual funds extensively (not my investment choice), but I do think Vanguard does a good job of reporting its returns. Its VTIP fund has only been around since mid 2012, so not a long track record. Vanguard reports its one-year return as of Nov. 30 as –0.38% and since inception as –0.42%. In essence, it has done nothing, barely worse than a money market fund. Right now inflation is running at 1.3% and some of these short-term TIPS went off with yields seriously below inflation.

    A year ago I looked at the performance of VTIP versus money market funds and found it had underperformed:


    I’d say I am neutral on short-term TIPS funds. I’d rather put my money into I Bonds, which I can sell after one year, with full principal returned no matter what. But I Bonds are capped. After you reach the cap, there’s nothing great out there.

    SCHP looks pretty similar to the broad TIP ETF. Here’s a two-year chart comparing the two funds:


    (It looks like you may need to copy and paste that link into your browser.

  5. Bill Ehart says:

    Thanks so much for the site! Definitely considering TIPs ETFs, whether short-term like VTIP or longer-term like SCHP. Don’t know if you reply to questions like this, but it’s confusing to try to compare on sites like Morningstar. For instance, VTIP year-to-date return looks like 0%. But is that after inflation or before? Trying to compare that to a 1% before-inflation return at Ally Bank and a 5% reported return for SCHP (driven by falling bond yields). Thanks for any info.

  6. Pingback: Checking in on today’s reopening of a 5-year TIPS | Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities

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