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Investors caught off-guard in surprise bond rally

Most affected were investors who expected September's losses to spell the start of the long-awaited bear market in bonds.

LOSING VROOM Data this week showed German exports, factory orders and industrial production all slumped by the most since January 2009 in August, adding to signs that Europe's largest economy is struggling.

WHAT a difference a month makes in the bond market.

After suffering their first losing month this year in September, fixed-income securities of all types worldwide are back on track in October to deliver their biggest annual returns since 2002, based on Bank of America Merrill Lynch