"It's hard to ignore that U.S. yields are a lot higher on an absolute basis than a lot of other countries which have less credit worthiness than the U.S.," Lee, who was also JPMorgan's chief equity strategist from 2007-2014, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on ...and more »
U.S. Treasury yields may be plumbing record lows, but don't look for the bottom yet, said Thomas Lee, managing partner at Fundstrat Global Advisors.
"It's hard to ignore that U.S. yields are a lot higher on an absolute basis than a lot of other countries which have less credit worthiness than the U.S.," Lee, who was also JPMorgan's chief equity strategist from 2007-2014, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. "It's an argument for yields to continue to inch downwards," he said.
In the wake of the June 23 U.K. referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU), global sovereign bond yields have tumbled. Bond prices move inversely to yields.
Investors tend to buy bonds as a safe-haven play when risks rise. Jitters have surged amid a toxic brew of political chaos in the U.K., an uncertain election outcome in Australia and concerns over knock-on effects on the European continent, including wobbly Italian banks. Investors were also betting on major central banks either providing more stimulus or in case of the U.S. Federal Reserve, delaying plans to raise interest rates.
"There's always negative bubbles created when people get too worried," Lee said.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell as low as 1.357 percent on Tuesday, before touching 1.345 percent on Wednesday, marking fresh record lows. But that's still well above other highly rated sovereign bonds. The 10-year Japanese government bond saw its yield drop even deeper into negative territory, falling as low as negative 0.271 percent on Wednesday. The German 10-year bond yield fell as low as negative 0.19 percent.
But Lee expected that some segments of the market would benefit from the rush into U.S. Treasurys, particularly as low bond yields sent investors looking for yields elsewhere.
"There's very limited supply of U.S. bonds this year," he said. "That's actually helping dividend stocks. So we like the idea of consistent dividend payers, but also value stocks."
Lee also advised holding some gold, which is considered a safe-haven asset.
"Gold is an alternate currency. It makes a lot of sense for investors to have some exposure because there're concerns with negative rates and regime changes and Brexit and central bank uncertainty," he said. "It makes other currencies less attractive than gold."
A tray of checks is shown at the U.S. Treasury printing facility in Philadelphia in this July 18, 2011 photo.
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—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1
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