The bond market experienced a decrease in yields on Tuesday, as it sought to settle following a period of significant volatility. Here are the key details:
The yield on the 2-year Treasury (BX:TMUBMUSD02Y) fell by 2.5 basis points to 4.899%. It is important to note that yields move in the opposite direction to prices.
Similarly, the yield on the 10-year Treasury (BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) retreated 5.3 basis points to 4.596%.
Additionally, the yield on the 30-year Treasury (BX:TMUBMUSD30Y) dropped 4.2 basis points to 4.768%.
The Treasury market is currently focused on stabilizing after a period of notable volatility in recent weeks. Initially, hopes that the Federal Reserve would halt its interest rate increases caused the benchmark 10-year yield to decline from a high of around 5% to 4.5% within a few sessions.
However, concerns emerged that the bond price rally had occurred too quickly, resulting in a minor rebound back up to 4.67% on Monday. Although yields are now slightly decreasing again on Tuesday, the movements are less pronounced compared to recent trends.
Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, suggested that the yield rebound at the beginning of the week may reflect traders' worries that financial conditions eased too rapidly for the Federal Reserve's preferences.
According to Innes, "the Fed could fall victim to its own success. Fed officials had been utilizing various platforms and public appearances to communicate a nuanced message to the market: the sharp increase in long-term U.S. Treasury yields that began in August could effectively replace the final rate hike indicated by the September dot plot."
Central Banks Give Mixed Signals on Rate Hikes
The recent bond rally, ignited by the Federal Reserve's messaging, has caused a reversal of the intended outcome, according to market experts. Jeremy Innes, an experienced analyst, stated that this unexpected development could potentially undermine the rationale for the Fed to skip the final rate hike. If long-term yields decrease and stock prices surge, it could ease financial conditions and negate the need for further tightening.
While the Fed appears to be hesitant about raising interest rates, other central banks are taking a different approach. The Reserve Bank of Australia, for example, recently increased interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.35%, marking its first hike since June. This serves as a reminder to investors that rate hikes can be implemented promptly if inflation becomes a concern.
However, market expectations suggest that the Fed will maintain interest rates at their current range of 5.25% to 5.50% during its upcoming meeting on December 13th. The CME FedWatch tool reveals a staggering 90% probability of this outcome. Looking ahead to the subsequent meeting at the end of January, chances of a 25 basis point rate hike to a range of 5.50% to 5.75% are priced at a modest 15%. Based on 30-day Fed Funds futures, it is unlikely that the central bank will lower its Fed funds rate target to around 5% until July 2024.
Key economic updates from the United States are due for release on Tuesday. These include the trade deficit for September at 8:30 a.m. Eastern and consumer credit data for the same month at 3 p.m.
Throughout the day, several notable Fed officials will address various topics. Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr will discuss FinTech at 9:15 a.m., Governor Christopher Waller will highlight the value of economic data at 11 a.m., and President of the New York Fed John Williams will address the Economic Club of New York at noon.
Additionally, the Treasury has scheduled a $48 billion auction of 3-year notes for 1 p.m. Eastern, which will likely attract significant investor attention.