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Yields pare rise as stimulus optimism fades

  • There was some optimism about a deal potentially being reached _ it seems like some of that optimism has started to fade a little bit.
  • The economic destruction from Covid, in my view, will keep rates pretty low,
20 Oct 2020

NEW YORK: US Treasury yields came off their highs on Monday as optimism ebbed that US lawmakers will reach a deal to launch new stimulus in the near term, though the yields held higher on the day.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that differences remained with President Donald Trump's administration on a wide-ranging coronavirus relief package but that she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before Election Day.

"There was some optimism about a deal potentially being reached _ it seems like some of that optimism has started to fade a little bit," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York. "People realize that the real stimulus is very likely to come after the election, and most likely in early 2021."

Benchmark 10-year note yields rose two basis points on the day to 0.762%, after earlier getting as high as 0.781%. The yields have traded in a tight range from 0.50% to 0.80% since April, with the exception of a brief spike to 0.96% in early June.

Some investors are betting long-dated yields will rise after the Nov. 3 presidential election on the likelihood of greater fiscal spending to boost the economy, with Democrats expected to support a larger package if they win a majority in the Senate.

Ongoing weakness from Covid-related business disruptions, however, is likely to keep downward pressure on yields with the Federal Reserve also likely to act to keep rates near historical lows unless the economy shows improvement.

"The economic destruction from Covid, in my view, will keep rates pretty low," said Tom di Galoma, a managing director at Seaport Global Holdings in New York.

The Treasury Department will sell $22 billion in 20-year bonds on Wednesday and $17 billion in five-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) on Thursday.