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Markets

Yields lower as traders weigh Biden tax plan prospects

  • The benchmark 10-year yield was down 2.3 basis points at 1.5331% in morning trading, at low end of the 1.528% to 1.646% range it has held since April 15.
  • Treasury auctions of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes on Monday and Tuesday totaling $183 billion will also show the market's appetite for US debt.
Published April 23, 2021

Traders pushed US Treasury yields lower on Friday as they weighed the political prospects of a new tax plan from President Joe Biden and the direction of Federal Reserve policy.

The benchmark 10-year yield was down 2.3 basis points at 1.5331% in morning trading, at low end of the 1.528% to 1.646% range it has held since April 15.

In a week with few significant economic data releases, investors seemed to be waiting for more clarity from Washington, said Priya Misra, head of global rates strategy for TD Securities. For now, "We're sort of in a state of limbo," she said.

Yields slipped on Thursday and Wall Street's main stock indexes sank nearly 1% following reports of Biden's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including the largest-ever increase in levies on investment gains, to fund about $1 trillion in childcare, universal pre-kindergarten education and paid leave for workers. But analysts cautioned the plan faces many hurdles to passage.

Investors also are looking ahead to guidance from a Fed meeting next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, although the US central bank's Federal Open Market Committee is not expected to make meaningful adjustments to policy.

Treasury auctions of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes on Monday and Tuesday totaling $183 billion will also show the market's appetite for US debt.

A closely watched part of the US Treasury yield curve measuring the gap between yields on two- and 10-year Treasury notes, seen as an indicator of economic expectations, was at 138 basis points, about a basis point lower than Thursday's close.

The two-year US Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was roughly unchanged at 0.1494%.

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