Treasuries Show Modest Move To The Downside

After ending the previous session little changed, treasuries showed a modest move to the downside during trading on Wednesday.

Bond prices climbed off their worst levels of the day but remained in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by 1.2 basis points to 0.676 percent.

The modest weakness among treasuries came as traders reacted to comments from President Donald Trump indicating the U.S. would not follow the U.K.’s lead and implement a second round of lockdowns.

“The U.K. just shut down again. They just announced that they’re going to do a shutdown, and we’re not going to be doing that,” Trump told Fox 2 Detroit on Tuesday. “We understand the disease, we understand how to handle it.”

In other coronavirus-related news, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced it has begun a phase 3 trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, continuing to testify before Congress for the second day, said the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve both need to “stay with it” in working to bolster the economic recovery.

Despite progress in rebounding from the coronavirus economic downturn, “there is a long way to go,” with millions still jobless compared to where the economy was in February, he said.

“We need to stay with it … The recovery will go faster if there is support coming both from Congress and the Fed,” Powell said.

Bond traders largely shrugged off the results of the Treasury Department’s auction of $53 billion worth of five-year notes, which attracted average demand.

The five-year note auction drew a high yield of 0.275 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.52, while the ten previous five-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.49.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

Looking ahead, the Treasury is due to announce the results of its auction of $50 billion worth of seven-year notes on Thursday.

Trading on Thursday may also be impacted by reaction to reports on weekly jobless claims and new home sales as well as additional testimony from Powell.

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