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Asian Bond Yields Surge Puts Crypto on Sidelines

Asian bond yields climb, drawing investors towards safer assets and away from cryptocurrencies.

Tue, 27 Feb 2024, 11:39 am UTC

Bond yields across most Asian nations have been on a steady upward trajectory.

This uptick in government-related bonds often lures investors to park their funds in less risky assets, shielding their investments from the uncertainties of market volatility. However, the mounting yields could exert downward pressure on crypto markets, tempering the risk appetite of market participants throughout the region.

Positive Outlook for Asian Bonds

A 2024 report by KraneShares sheds light on Asia's high-yield prospects outpacing those of the US and developed market investment grade.

Presently, the investment proposition within the Asia-Pacific region stands out, owing to overstated credit risks and low-interest rate risks. This is fueled by robust regional corporate and economic fundamentals indicating a resurgence across various economies and industries, exposure to economies likely to initiate rate cuts ahead of the Fed, and a forceful selloff in 2022 triggered by China's real estate challenges, gradually resolving themselves.

The report underscores the resurgence of the 60/40 portfolio for investment. Investors are gravitating towards prudent, well-timed fixed-income investments as interest rates surpass 5% for the first time in nearly two decades.

In 2023, many investors pivoted towards investment-grade debt as fixed-income markets rebounded, assuming duration risk in anticipation of swift interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve in 2024. However, the central bank's response wasn't as swift as traders had envisaged.

Decline in Crypto Interest Across Asia

Recent research indicates a decline in investor confidence in cryptocurrencies, particularly in regions like Singapore and Malaysia, following the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency exchange FTX and subsequent regulatory crackdowns.

Singapore and Malaysia ranked ninth and tenth, respectively, with scores of 4.12 out of 10 for crypto interest. Google searches for cryptocurrency-related content have plummeted by 33% and 45% in Malaysia and Singapore, respectively. Singapore witnessed an 82% drop in news articles about cryptocurrencies since 2021, marking the fourth-largest decline.

Stringent government regulations in nations like India and China have made cryptocurrency investments challenging.

According to Coin Gape, although these countries haven't explicitly banned crypto markets, their somewhat unfriendly stance towards the digital asset realm is evident in their regulatory policies.

Potential Impact on Crypto Markets Traditionally, bond yields and crypto markets share an inverse relationship.

As per Krane Shares, when bond yields offer a payoff surpassing market-based inflation forecasts, resulting in a positive real yield, there's a reduced incentive to seek profits from alternative assets such as crypto, equities, and gold.

Given the prevailing scenario in Asia, crypto markets might observe a period of subdued activity. However, with future market developments such as the upcoming Bitcoin halving, a resurgence in markets and increased investor interest are anticipated in the foreseeable future.

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