Government bonds

South Africa avoids junk status – for now

Last week S&P threatened to downgrade South African debt to junk status. In the event, it didn’t. But a downgrade looks “almost inevitable”.

Bonds are clearly in a bubble – but when will it burst?

With more and more government debt trading on negative yields, the bond bubble continues to swell. John Stepek looks at what could prompt it to burst.

Anarchy in the EU

Investors need not worry about who is or isn’t in charge of eurozone governments, says Matthew Lynn. As far as the markets are concerned, it makes no difference.

How risky are your bonds?

There are two main risks when buying a bond. Matthew Partridge explains what they are, and how “duration” can help tell you if it’s a risky bet.

Chart of the week: steer clear of Ireland's optimistic 100-year bond

Ireland has issued a 100-year bond priced to yield 2.35%. But as this chart of British gilt yields over three centuries suggests, buying it might not be a terribly good idea.

Africa’s bond bonanza subsides

In the past decade, 17 African countries have issued a dollar-denominated bond. But now the “bond bonanza” is subsiding, and Africa isn’t looking quite so creditworthy.

Japan set for more stimulus

Expect the Bank of Japan to cut interest rates again and increase its monthly government bond purchases.

All you need to know about bonds

In the latest of our beginner’s guides to investing, Merryn Somerset Webb explains the basics of bonds.

How much more loopy can the financial system get?

Japan’s new ten-year government bond carries a negative yield. It’s guaranteed to lose investors money. John Stepek looks at how we’ve come to this, and what could burst the bubble.

How to build your own bond portfolio

Investing in bonds usually means piling into a managed bond fund. But as Bengt Saelensminde explains, that makes little sense in today’s markets.

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How gilts work and why they matter

Ed Bowsher takes a look at UK government bonds – how they work, why they are important, and whether you should invest in them.