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Bond Yields Fall Ahead of ISM Manufacturing Report

March 1, 2024
minute read

On Friday morning, Treasury bonds experienced a rally, leading to a decrease in most yields, fueled by a combination of factors, including a mixed set of U.S. manufacturing data.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury (BX:TMUBMUSD02Y) declined to 4.583%, marking a 6.1 basis points drop from the previous day's 4.644%. It's crucial to note that yields move inversely to prices. Simultaneously, the yield on the 10-year Treasury (BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) registered at 4.236%, representing a 1.5 basis points decrease from Thursday's 4.251%. In contrast, the yield on the 30-year Treasury (BX:TMUBMUSD30Y) experienced a marginal uptick of less than 1 basis point, reaching 4.378% compared to Thursday's 4.375%.

Examining the broader context, throughout February, the 2- and 10-year rates observed significant increases of 41.7 basis points and 28.6 basis points, respectively. These were the most substantial monthly gains since June and October of the previous year.

The market movement on Friday was notably influenced by a duo of conflicting reports on manufacturing. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index revealed a contraction in activity for the 16th consecutive month in February. In contrast, S&P Global's final reading of the manufacturing purchasing managers' index increased to 52.2, surpassing the initial reading of 51.5. This suggested a quicker pace of improvement within the manufacturing sector.

In a separate development, consumer sentiment in February displayed a sideways movement, dipping slightly from January levels but retaining gains accumulated over the past three months, according to the University of Michigan.

The backdrop for these market dynamics in February was marked by the most significant monthly gains in Treasury yields since 2023. This surge was propelled by a series of data indicating sustained inflationary pressures. On Thursday, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation metric, the PCE index, aligned with expectations for January but remained elevated, reflecting the ongoing prevalence of inflationary forces.

In conclusion, the Treasury bond rally on Friday, prompted by a blend of manufacturing data and consumer sentiment reports, adds a layer of complexity to the broader market landscape.

The nuanced reactions to divergent economic indicators underscore the delicate balancing act that investors must navigate, particularly in the context of heightened inflation concerns. As the market digests these dynamics, the trajectory of Treasury yields will likely remain a focal point, with investors keenly monitoring economic indicators for clues about the future direction of interest rates and broader economic stability.

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

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