Buying negative-yield bonds -- or paying for the privilege of loaning money to governments -- looks like a fool's game, but six types of investors have joined the play, JPMorgan said.
A big chunk of the government bond market has gone negative: Around $1.7 trillion of euro-area government bonds with maturities longer than a year are trading with negative nominal yields, JPMorgan estimated in a note last week. That figure rises to $1.8 trillion when adding in the Swedish, Swiss and Danish bonds in negative-land.
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Two weeks ago, around $1.8 trillion worth of Japanese bonds were trading with a negative yield, although that largely reversed last week, it said. All-in-all, negative yields made up 16 percent of the JPMorgan Global Government Bond Index -- or around $3.6 trillion -- as of two weeks ago, the bank said.