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This could signal a lot of pain for global assets: BofA

A tumultuous start to the year for the markets has investors running for cover — in bonds.

The 10-year treasury futures, which trade inversely with the10-year yield, are tracking for their best month of gains since January 2015. This as the 10-year yield has fallen from 2.30 percent to 1.98 percent in the last four weeks. As the ratchet month comes to an end, one technical strategist says there are signs in the chart that could be foreshadowing "a lot of pain" for global assets.

"From the futures perspective, it's getting a little intimidating," Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Paul Ciana told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Thursday.

Looking at a long-term chart of the 10-year Treasury futures, Ciana pointed to a head and shoulders pattern that has been forming over the last several years as cause for concern. As he sees it, a break above 129'20, which corresponds with the late September low in the S&P 500, could activate the pattern and propel the treasurys market sharply higher.

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"When bonds break out, global markets will be in some real trouble because 10-year bond yields will fall," added Ciana.

In terms of what that means for yields, Ciana said he's "watching like a hawk" the 1.96 percent level. "As long as we stay above this, the situation will remain fairly calm," he said. However, a break below that could send the 10-year yield plummeting to multiyear lows and that will not bode well for the global markets.

If this breakdown happens "the secular bear market in commodities may extend further, high-yield credit spreads could widen and many emerging market currencies may suffer more at the hand of a strong U.S. dollar," Ciana added.

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