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Yield curve

A graph plotting the yield on fixed-interest securities against their years to maturity. As longer-dated securities are more subject to price fluctuations if interest rates change, and are thus less liquid than shorter-dated securities, it is usually expected that if interest rates are equally likely to rise or fall the yield curve slopes upwards; that is, longer-dated securities will have higher yields than shorter-dated ones. This slope may be temporarily reversed if interest rates are generally expected to fall, as the expectation of higher capital gains on longer-dated securities makes them relatively attractive to hold. See also liquid assets; term structure of interest rates.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.