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Treasury investors sit tight amid Q4 market chaos

Data from State Street Global Advisors show that despite rough equity markets and declining interest rates, investors chose to keep their portfolios relatively intact compared to the past five years of activity. In aggregate, cash flows to U.S. Treasuries over the 90-day period ended Dec. 31, ranked one spot above their five-year low, while the total portfolio value ranked just above the median.

TIPS and long-term issues saw the largest increases in holding values as the former ended the quarter in the top quartile of the five-year period, while 10-year Treasuries posted their best quarter since Q3 2015. Investors' lukewarm reactions suggest these returns will be short lived.