English: Cloze Test for Upcoming Exams – Set 140

Directions: In the passage given below there are 10 blanks. Every blank has four alternative words given in options (A),(B),(C), and (D). You have to tell which word is APPROPRIATE according to the context. If all are appropriate then mark your answer as “E”.

For the ___1___ time in the past decade, a great turning-point has been declared in the government-bond market. Bond yields have risen across the world, including in China, where the yield on the ten-year bond has come close to 4% for the first time since 2014. The ten-year Treasury-bond yield, the most important benchmark, has risen from 2.05% in early September to 2.37%, though that is still below its level of early March. Investors have been expecting bond yields to rise for a while. A survey by JPMorgan Chase found that a record 70% of its clients with ___2___ accounts had “short” positions in Treasury bonds—ie, betting that prices ___3___ and that yields would rise. Meanwhile a poll of global fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in October found that a net 85% thought bonds overvalued. In addition, 82% of the managers expected short-term interest rates to rise over the next 12 months—something that tends to push bond yields higher.
In part, this reflects greater optimism about the global economy. For the first time since 2014, America has managed two consecutive quarters of annualised growth of 3% or more. Forecasts for European growth have also been revised higher. Commodity prices, including oil, have been rising since June, which may be a sign of improving demand. The BAML survey found that, for the first time in six years, more managers believe in a “Goldilocks” economy (in which growth is strong and inflation is low) than in a “secular stagnation” outlook (in which both growth and inflation are below trend). If those views turn out to be correct, then it might be expected that bond yields would move a bit closer to more “normal” levels. Until the crisis of 2008, the ten-year Treasury-bond yield had been above 5% for most of the previous four decades.
Investors also expect that, eventually, some kind of fiscal stimulus will be passed in Washington, DC. Of the fund managers polled by BAML, 61% expect tax cuts in the first quarter of next year. Such a package may increase the deficit and ___4___ more economic growth; both factors would push bond yields higher. Another factor behind the ___5___ in yields is a shift in central-bank policy. The Federal Reserve has started to wind down its balance-sheet, by not reinvesting the proceeds when bonds mature. The European Central Bank will soon cut the amount of bonds it buys every month by half, to €30bn ($35bn). The private sector will have to ___6___ the bonds that central banks are no longer purchasing.
Whether this will trigger the long-prophesied collapse of the bull market in bonds is another matter. Globally, there are no signs of a sustained surge in inflation. PIMCO, a fund-management group, thinks that global economic conditions may now be “as good as it gets”. The momentum of growth may already ___7___ its peak. Central banks also know that higher bond yields can act as a brake on economic growth. In G20 advanced economies, the combined debt of households, governments and the non-financial corporate sector has been rising steadily and stands at 260% of GDP. Every debt is also a creditor’s asset, but higher borrowing costs can create awkward adjustments; in America, for example, 30-year mortgage rates are ___8___ half a percentage point higher than they were a year ago. So the pace of tightening will be very slow. And if the economy shows any sign of ___9___, central banks will probably ___10___.

  1. ordinal
    umpteenth
    numerous
    perpetual
    All are Correct
    Option E

     

  2. factual
    moderate
    empirical
    speculative
    All are Correct
    Option D

     

  3. would fall
    will fall
    had fallen
    fell
    All are Correct
    Option A

     

  4. dissuade
    preclude
    prevent
    induce
    All are Correct
    Option D

     

  5. overturn
    u-turn
    upturn
    outcry
    All are Correct
    Option C

     

  6. spew
    absorb
    exude
    secrete
    All are Correct
    Option B

     

  7. reached
    has reached
    have reached
    had reached
    All are Correct
    Option C

     

  8. near
    around
    by
    at
    All are Correct
    Option B

     

  9. agitated
    settled
    wobbling
    securing
    All are Correct
    Option C

     

  10. relent
    withhold
    agitate
    clench
    All are Correct
    Option A

     


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