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Markets

Yields edge higher but hold in tight range as investors weigh COVID risks

  • Treasuries are "taking cues from COVID headlines and equities, but its not exactly one for one.
  • Benchmark 10-year notes rose less than a basis point to 0.615%. They have held in a tight range from 0.569% to 0.784% since mid-June.
17 Jul, 2020

NEW YORK: US Treasury yields inched higher on Friday as investors weighed the prospect of new economic damage from shutdowns meant to stem the spread of COVID-19 against the possibility that the worst has passed.

The United States shattered its daily record for coronavirus infections on Thursday, reporting more than 77,000 new cases as the number of deaths in a 24-hour period rose by nearly 1,000, according to a Reuters tally.

But risk appetite remains strong and stocks opened higher on optimism about an economic recovery.

Treasuries are "taking cues from COVID headlines and equities, but its not exactly one for one," said Justin Lederer, an interest rate strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York. "On the backups there's buyers, but we're not really breaking out of any ranges here."

Benchmark 10-year notes rose less than a basis point to 0.615%. They have held in a tight range from 0.569% to 0.784% since mid-June.

The yield curve between two-year and 10-year notes was little changed on the day at 47 basis points.

Data on Friday showed that US homebuilding surged in June amid reports of rising demand for housing in lower density areas as companies allow employees flexibility to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Treasury Department will sell $17 billion in 20-year bonds and $14 billion in 10-year Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) next week.

TIPS have rallied for the past few months on expectations that stimulus from the United States government and Federal Reserve will spur inflation.

Yields on 10-year TIPS fell to minus 0.82% on Friday. They have been down from around minus 0.40% in early June.

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