10-year US Treasury yields break below 4% as Fed talks rate cuts


Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields sank to an over four-month low in Asian trade on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve said it was done raising interest rates and flagged deeper-than-expected rate cuts in 2024.

10-year Treasury yields sank 1.4% to 3.976% by 00:46 ET (05:46 GMT), falling below 4% for the first time since late July. 2-year yields fell 2.3% to 4.378%, while 5-year yields sank 2% to 3.922%- a six-month low.

The 10-year rate, which is a key indicator of safe haven demand and bond market sentiment, had shot up to an over 20-year high of 5% in October amid doubts over the Fed’s plans for interest rates.

But the rate had since steadily declined, especially as a string of economic readings showed that inflation was cooling, eliciting a less hawkish outlook from the Fed.

The prospect of lower interest rates is usually positive for bond markets, as investors buy into bonds with higher coupon rates in the face of lower rates on new issuances.

The Fed held interest rates steady as widely expected on Wednesday, and forecast at least three rate cuts in 2024, with Chair Jerome Powell citing strong progress against inflation from its rate hike cycle over the past 1-½ years.

The central bank said that interest rates had now peaked at 5.4% this year, and projected a benchmark rate of 4.6% by end-2024.

Markets were now speculating over just when the Fed will begin reducing interest rates. Fed Fund futures prices show traders pricing in the possibility of back-to-back 25 basis point cuts in the Fed’s March and May meetings. Traders are also pricing in an over 70% chance for a cut in March, up from 51.4% seen a week ago.

“The Fed is seemingly buying into the argument that they can cut interest rates because falling inflation will push up real borrowing costs, but given our more cautious outlook for growth, we think the Federal Reserve will end up being more aggressive on rate cuts than both they and the market are currently expecting,” analysts at ING wrote in a note.

They also forecast that the Fed will trim rates by at least 150 basis points in 2024.

Goldman Sachs analysts also brought forward their expectations for a rate cut to the first quarter of 2024, and said the central bank could trim rates by 25 basis points in March, May and June, respectively.

Source : Economy News by Investing.com / Dec 14, 2023

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