By Vivien Lou Chen and Jamie Chisholm
Bond yields fell on Monday, retracing some of the sharp bounce delivered by Friday’s much stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report, as investors await the next major inflation report.Meanwhile, a key measure of the yield curve moved deeper into inversion.
The yield on the 2-year Treasury /zigman2/quotes/211347045/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD02Y +1.46% fell 3.4 basis points to 3.214% at 3 p.m. Eastern. Yields move in the opposite direction to prices.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +1.08% retreated 7.5 basis points to 2.763%.
The yield on the 30-year Treasury /zigman2/quotes/211347052/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD30Y +1.39% fell 6.8 basis points to 2.997%.
The 2-year Treasury yield traded at a premium of 45.1 basis points over the 10-year — marking the deepest inversion of the curve since August 2000, according to Dow Jones Market Data. A prolonged inversion of that portion of the yield curve has served as a reliable recession warning flag.
What’s driving markets
Investors are continuing to absorb Friday’s robust U.S. labor report and its implications for the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate rises as the central bank strives to tackle inflation at multi-decade highs.
News that the world’s biggest economy added 528,000 jobs in July , more than twice the number forecast, caused a selloff in bonds and a spike in benchmark yields on Friday as traders added to bets that the Fed will be more aggressive at its next rate-setting meeting.
“While the strength of the labor market conveyed by the unemployment rate and jobs growth on its own likely implies an incremental improvement in the odds of a soft landing, the continued upward pressure on wages increases the likelihood that the Fed has to raise rates further into restrictive territory than the market currently expects,” said strategists Daniel Krieter and Daniel Belton of BMO Capital Markets.
Markets are indeed pricing in a 64.5% probability that the Fed will raise interest rates by another 75 basis points to a range of 3% to 3.25% at its Sept. 20-21 meeting. But before that, the central bank will consider two more monthly consumer-price index reports, the first coming on Wednesday.
Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, argued that the market was being too sanguine about the potential for interest rate cuts by the Fed next year.
“If this week’s CPI surprises to the upside, then an even larger, one-percentage-point increase will surely be on the table. We think market pricing of rate cuts next year are misplaced, given the current trajectory of wages and prices, even if the risks around growth are to the downside,” Farooqi wrote in a note.