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As Rate-cut Optimism Fades, Ten-year Treasury Yields Rise to 4.5%

May 9, 2024
minute read

Yields on U.S. government bonds exhibited minimal fluctuations Thursday morning despite fresh data unveiling a surge in weekly initial jobless-benefit claims, marking the highest level in nine months.

In the realm of financial indicators, the yield on the 2-year Treasury note (BX:TMUBMUSD02Y) experienced a marginal decline of 1.4 basis points, settling at 4.827% compared to the preceding day's 4.841%.

Conversely, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) saw a slight uptick of less than 1 basis point, reaching 4.5% from Wednesday's 4.491%. Similarly, the yield on the 30-year Treasury note (BX:TMUBMUSD30Y) observed a rise of 3.2 basis points to 4.664% from 4.632% on Wednesday.

The driving forces behind these market movements lie in the latest data release, which unveiled a notable increase of 22,000 in initial jobless-benefit claims, reaching a total of 231,000 for the week ending May 4. This figure surpassed economists' projections of a rise to 214,000 and marked the highest level since August of the previous year.

Analysts, such as BMO Capital Markets strategist Vail Hartman, interpret this report as potentially indicative of an impending inflection point in the economic cycle. However, Hartman underscores that despite the rise, both initial and continuing claims remain notably lower than the peaks observed in 2023 and the pre-pandemic highs recorded in 2019.

Market attention is also directed towards the upcoming $25 billion auction of 30-year bonds scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. This follows a tepid response witnessed in Wednesday's sale of $42 billion in 10-year Treasury notes. Furthermore, overseas developments, particularly better-than-expected trade data from China released on Thursday, have infused optimism regarding the global economic outlook.

In another notable event, the Bank of England opted to maintain interest rates at 5.25% with a voting split of 7-2. This decision exerted downward pressure on gilt yields (BX:TMBMKGB-02Y), signaling a broader impact on global bond markets.

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

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