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Subzero interest rate trend sends shivers through Asia

Global negative-yield bonds double to $17tn, posing economic risk

Central bank officials have expressed interest in Japan's low interest rate policy amid concerns over a global economic slowdown.

BRUSSELS/LONDON/TOKYO -- Investors and fund managers worldwide are coming to grips with a growing phenomenon: a huge and rapidly expanding pile of negative-yielding debt.

The global stock of bonds with negative yields has doubled since the beginning of the year to around $17 trillion. Investors are snapping up such debt even though they are guaranteed to suffer a loss if they hold it to maturity, betting on further rises in bond prices. Speculation is swirling that central banks will further ease their already super-loose monetary policies in response to signs of economic downturns.

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