Curve Steepener Trade

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DEFINITION of 'Curve Steepener Trade'

A strategy that uses derivatives to benefit from escalating yield differences that occur as a result of increases in the yield curve between two Treasury bonds of different maturities. This strategy can be effective in certain macroeconomic scenarios in which the price of the longer term Treasury is driven down.

BREAKING DOWN 'Curve Steepener Trade'

For example, an individual could employ a curve steepener trade by using derivatives to buy five-year Treasuries and short 10-year Treasuries. One macroeconomic scenario in which using a curve steepener trade could be beneficial would be if the Fed decides to significantly lower the interest rate, which could weaken the U.S. dollar and cause foreign central banks to stop buying the longer term Treasury. This decrease in demand for the longer term Treasury should cause its price to fall, causing its yield to increase; the greater the yield difference, the more profitable this strategy becomes.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the relationship between the current yield and risk?

    The general relationship between current yield and risk is that they increase in correlation to one another. A higher current ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the bond market react to changes in the Federal Funds Rate?

    The bond market is highly sensitive to changes in the federal funds rate. When the Federal Reserve increases the federal ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I use the holding period return yield to evaluate my bond portfolio?

    The holding period return yield formula can be used to compare the yields of different bonds in your portfolio over a given ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the relationship between current yield and yield to maturity (YTM)?

    Both the current yield and yield to maturity (YTM) formulas are methods of calculating the yield of a bond. However, these ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is a 'busted' convertible bond?

    In finance, a convertible bond represents a hybrid security that offers debt and equity features and risks. While a convertible ... Read Full Answer >>
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