US yields slide as investors await Fed decision

Parvez Jabri July 30, 2019

NEW YORK: US Treasury yields fell broadly on Monday, in line with government bond markets around the world amid global economic uncertainty, as investors await a widely-expected interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve this week.

The Fed begins its two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, with a 25-basis-point rate cut fully priced in.

“I think we could drift sideways between now and the Fed’s decision on Wednesday,” said Tom Simons, senior money market strategist at Jefferies LLC in New York. “There’s some building in that the Fed may disappoint.”

US Treasuries also tracked core euro zone government bond yields, which traded just above record lows hit last week after the European Central Bank last Thursday flagged another round of easing.

Mounting concerns about a “no deal” Brexit and general growth worries are increasing the odds for decisive action from the European Central Bank.

Treasuries also moved in tandem with UK 10-year yields, which dropped to the lowest in almost three years.

In afternoon trading, US benchmark 10-year note yields fell to 2.058%, from 2.081% late on Friday.

Since the beginning of the year, 10-year yields have fallen 63 basis points, on track for its steepest drop in five years.

Yields on 30-year bonds slid to 2.584%, from 2.601% on Friday.

At the short end of the curve, two-year yields slipped to 1.851%, from Friday’s 1.87%.

With a Fed cut factored in, investors will focus on the Fed’s statement, which should provide guidance on future cuts.

“Offering forward guidance to indicate there will be additional accommodation is precisely the tact (Fed Chair Jerome) Powell will need to employ to offset the risk of a post-cut disappointment downtrade,” BMO Capital Markets said in

a research note.

“His success in crafting the message effectively without over-committing remains to be seen.”

Aside from the Fed decision, this week is heavy in terms of economic data, headlined by Thursday’s US manufacturing report and Friday’s non-farm payrolls report.

Analysts said the US economy seems to be on a more solid footing than the rest of the world, but overall sentiment has been tainted nonetheless.

“Globally, business sentiment is falling,” said Stan Shipley, fixed income strategist at Evercore ISI in New York. “The labor market looks fine in the US, consumer spending is fine, but people are getting worried about business sentiment and manufacturing. It’s not just a US thing, it’s global.”

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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