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If you buy a 10-year €1,000 bond for €600 when the bond is issued, you invest €600 now and are guaranteed €1,000 10 years from now. If you lend €600 at 5.24% annual yield and only require one repayment 10 years from now, the borrower will have to pay you €1,000 when the loan expires. So buying a bond is like lending money, and if the yield is positive (or larger than inflation, or larger than the profit you can make elsewhere, or larger than whatever your benchmark is) you'll make a profit.

Of course, if you can turn around a year later and sell the bond for €660 then you've made a 10% in a year, the yield of thebond has gone down to 4.72% and the price went up higher than expected.

The bond market affects the stock market in that bonds involve guaranteed payments so, neglecting default risk (and if the bond is a US treasury bond you pretty much can) the bond yield is a measure of risk-free return. When valuing stocks, return is measured relative to the risk-free rate of return. So, if bond yields go down, stock returns above the risk-free rate go up and so investing in the stock market becomes more attractive. Also, investments that used to be less profitable than bonds and so wouldn't be undertaken suddenly become profitable.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 19th, 2007 at 11:57:33 AM EST
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