TREASURIES-Yields end mostly flat as Biden enters White House

Herbert Lash
·3 min read

(New throughout, updates prices, yields, comments and market activity) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields ended little changed on Wednesday after the inauguration of President Joe Biden, who has pledged to revive a battered U.S. economy with $1.9 trillion in stimulus, and as $24 billion of 20-year Treasury bonds were sold at auction. Treasury prices initially slid but as they moved higher, yields fell, with the benchmark 10-year note trading lower at 1.082%, or down 1 basis point from late Tuesday. Biden was set to sign 15 executive orders and memorandums in the White House, making his first moves on the coronavirus pandemic and climate change in moves that undo policies put in place by outgoing President Donald Trump. Treasuries investors took the inauguration in stride, but the stock market rallied, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes hitting all-time highs on optimism that Biden would oversee a more efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and enact bigger pandemic relief. The market was looking past the inauguration at this point, said Tom Simons, money market economist at Jefferies LLC, in New York. Yields jumped last week ahead of Biden's stimulus announcement, but have since traded in a narrow range, backing off from a sudden rise at the start of 2021. The government sale of 20-year Treasury bonds was a bit weak, yielding a full basis point higher at 1.657% than the market price at the bidding deadline, said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago. "It was not dramatically weak," Brien said. Yields on the 20-year bond trended lower, trading toward the end of the session at 1.631%, compared to Tuesday's close of 1.64%. A recent run-up in yields since the start of 2021 has stalled for the moment, Brien said. The government will sell $15 billion in 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS, at auction on Thursday. TIPS yields traded lower at -1.051%, while a surge in the 10-year inflation breakeven rate, the yield difference between 10-year Treasuries and 10-year TIPS, edged up to 2.123%, the highest since October 2018. This shows the markets expect inflation to average more than 2% a year for the next decade, well above the current rate and the Federal Reserve's 2% target. But investors could be underestimating how long the economic drag from the pandemic will last, even with new stimulus. The yield curve between two-year and 10-year notes edged lower as yields fell to 95.30 basis points, down from 95.60 bid at the close on Tuesday. January 20 Wednesday 4:27PM New York / 2127 GMT Price Current Net Yield % Change (bps) Three-month bills 0.08 0.0811 -0.008 Six-month bills 0.09 0.0913 -0.005 Two-year note 99-254/256 0.129 -0.002 Three-year note 99-204/256 0.1933 -0.008 Five-year note 99-170/256 0.4438 -0.003 Seven-year note 99-16/256 0.7639 -0.009 10-year note 98-24/256 1.0802 -0.012 20-year bond 95-176/256 1.6305 -0.010 30-year bond 95-92/256 1.8275 -0.012 DOLLAR SWAP SPREADS Last (bps) Net Change (bps) U.S. 2-year dollar swap 7.75 0.75 spread U.S. 3-year dollar swap 7.50 1.00 spread U.S. 5-year dollar swap 7.75 0.75 spread U.S. 10-year dollar swap 0.50 0.75 spread U.S. 30-year dollar swap -26.25 0.00 spread (Reporting by Herbert Lash Editing by Mark Heinrich and Nick Zieminski)