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An Increase in Bond-negative Developments Pushes Long-dated Treasury Yields Above Four-week Highs

May 29, 2024
minute read

Yields on the longest-dated U.S. government debt increased Wednesday morning, putting downward pressure on stocks as concerns grew that the Federal Reserve might need to maintain higher interest rates for an extended period following Tuesday’s poorly received note auctions.

Market Movements:

  • The yield on the 2-year Treasury fell by 2 basis points to 4.956%, down from 4.976% on Tuesday.
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury increased by 5 basis points to 4.592%, up from 4.542% on Tuesday.
  • The yield on the 30-year Treasury rose by 6.3 basis points to 4.719%, from 4.656% on Tuesday.
  • Tuesday’s levels were the highest for the 10- and 30-year rates since early May.

Factors Influencing the Market:Long-term Treasury yields hovered near their four-week peaks on Wednesday morning as the Treasury initiated its first buyback operation in over two decades. This buyback program aims to enhance market liquidity and resilience.

On Tuesday, several events negatively impacted the bond market. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari stated on CNBC that additional interest rate hikes could not be ruled out and that rate cuts are unlikely before several months of favorable inflation data.

Additionally, U.S. Treasury auctions for 2-year and 5-year notes totaling nearly $140 billion were poorly received by the market, which pushed yields higher.

Furthermore, the U.S. consumer confidence index rebounded to 102 in May from a revised 97.5 in April, marking its first increase after three consecutive monthly declines. This suggested that households are maintaining their spending despite borrowing costs being at their highest in over 20 years.

Upcoming Events:Traders will closely monitor the Treasury’s $44 billion sale of 7-year notes at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. An hour later, the Fed will release its Beige Book, detailing regional economic conditions. Key Fed officials, including New York Fed President John Williams and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, are scheduled to make public appearances discussing the economy.

On Friday, the April reading of the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, will be released.

Analysts’ Insights:BMO Capital Markets strategists Ian Lyngen and Vail Hartman commented, “The Treasury market is under pressure, although the overnight session was relatively subdued in terms of price action.”

They noted that the rise in yields ahead of Friday’s inflation report could be a classic case of “sell-the-rumor, buy the fact.” This means that as expectations for April’s core PCE indicate a similar increase to March (+0.3% monthly and +2.8% yearly), investors and the Fed are seeking clear evidence that monetary policy is effectively moving inflation back to target levels.

In summary, rising yields on long-term U.S. government debt are exerting pressure on stocks due to concerns about sustained high interest rates from the Federal Reserve. This response follows poorly received note auctions and signals from Fed officials about potential rate hikes. With significant upcoming events, including the release of the Fed's Beige Book and the PCE inflation report, traders and analysts are closely watching for indications of how monetary policy will evolve to address inflationary pressures.

Eric Ng
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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