NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Global manufacturing data released on Monday outperformed expectations. sparking a selloff in Treasury bonds and German bunds and leading to a drop in gold prices and the stocks of gold-mining companies.
The positive data show that business investment may be growing faster than previously thought, as the U.S. manufacturing number was its highest since 2011. If both consumers and corporations regain confidence and increase spending, then tapering by the Federal Reserve may come sooner than expected.
That is not to say that December will be the target date for Fed tapering, but investors may now expect the Fed to reduce its bond buying a few months earlier than previously thought, resulting in the selloff in assets sensitive to interest rates.
Higher interest rates keep inflation suppressed, which creates less demand for assets that hedge inflation such as gold and other precious metals. We are seeing a repeat of what happened in May when whispers of tapering began to spread.The chart below is of iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond (SHY) over iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT). The pair measures the U.S. yield curve and moves higher when the yield curve steepens. Follow @macroinsights This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.