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Oct. 21, 2019, 3:32 p.m. EDT

Treasury yields hit more-than-4-week high

Auctions for $113 billion of Treasury debt will be held this week

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By Sunny Oh

U.S. Treasury yields pushed higher Monday as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was prevented from holding a vote on his agreement dictating the country’s exit from the European Union, presenting another complication to the deal’s passage.

What are Treasurys doing?

The 10-year Treasury note yield /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +2.85% rose 4.7 basis points to a four-week high of 1.794%, while the 2-year note rate /zigman2/quotes/211347045/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD02Y -2.43% was up 4.1 basis points to 1.615%. The 30-year bond yield /zigman2/quotes/211347052/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD30Y +4.13% picked up 4.3 basis points to 2.286%, its highest since Sept. 16.

In the past few weeks, the benchmark maturity’s rate has remained in a tight range between 1.5% and 1.9% since the beginning of September, as positive developments on geopolitical uncertainty has been balanced against the growing gloom around the U.S.’s economic health.

Prices for U.S. government debt fall as yields rise.

What’s driving Treasurys?

Bond markets recently have been moving in step with uncertainty surrounding Britain’s plans to exit from the European Union, with Johnson renewing his efforts to get his Brexit deal ratified after a Saturday setback. But House of Commons Speaker John Bercow blocked the prime minister from holding a vote on his proposal on Monday.

Read: What the latest Brexit setback means for markets in a crunch week for the U.K.

On the weekend, Johnson’s bill was postponed by lawmakers, and then stymied by an amendment ensuring that any kind of agreement to leave the EU would have to pass through the House of Commons, the lower chamber of British Parliament. Johnson later asked EU officials for a three-month extension, but analysts say he will be looking to push for a deal before Oct. 31.

The 10-year U.K. government bond yield /zigman2/quotes/211347177/realtime BX:TMBMKGB-10Y +25.46% rose 4.4 basis points to 0.753%, Tradeweb data show.

Investor appetite for assets viewed as risky were buoyed by President Donald Trump’s comments on the prospect of a U.S.-China trade deal, which he said was coming along great on Monday. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.38% and the Dow /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.36% were on course to finish higher.

Mario Draghi will preside over his last meeting as the president of the European Central Bank this week. This comes as signs of friction within its monetary policy-making committee have surfaced over the risks around additional easing in an ultralow interest rate environment.

Also in focus, auctions for $113 billion of Treasury debt will be held this week. U.S. government debt auctions can influence the price of outstanding bonds as broker-dealers make room for the influx of fresh debt issuance.

What did market participants say?

The struggle to push a Brexit agreement through Parliament “doesn’t change much for investors. This is all about tactics,” said Chris Iggo, chief investment officer of core investments at AXA Investment Managers, in an interview with MarketWatch.

add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
+0.02 +2.85%
Volume: 0.00
June 1, 2020 4:04p
add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD02Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
-0.0039 -2.43%
Volume: 0.00
June 1, 2020 4:04p
add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD30Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
+0.06 +4.13%
Volume: 0.00
June 1, 2020 4:04p
add Add to watchlist BX:TMBMKGB-10Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
+0.05 +25.46%
Volume: 0.00
June 1, 2020 5:05p
+11.42 +0.38%
Volume: 2.47B
June 1, 2020 4:04p
US : Dow Jones Global
+91.91 +0.36%
Volume: 335.64M
June 1, 2020 4:04p

Sunny Oh is a MarketWatch fixed-income reporter based in New York.

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