Bond yields are higher today despite strength in the dollar against the yen and another dip in Japanese government bond yields. Before the Treasury market went into a sustained bear market at the beginning of last month, a stronger dollar and lower JGB yields tended to benefit U.S. bonds.
On a day without any major economic indicators, when
public comments don't concern monetary policy (he's talking to the
House Commerce Committee's
Subcommittee on Finance and -- no joke -- Hazardous Materials, with a Q&A to follow), it's an indication of how terribly depressed the Treasury market is these days.
The benchmark 30-year bond lately was 25/32 lower at 94, lifting its yield 6 basis points to 5.67%.
"This market really just shows a real inability to sustain bounces, and this is just another example," said David Ging, Treasury market strategist at
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
. "We were up overnight on strength in the dollar and lower JGB yields, but I think we're going to be weak into the
releases the February jobs report at 8:30 a.m. EST Friday.
The dollar was lately valued at 121.33 yen, up from 120.09 yesterday. And the benchmark 10-year JGB yield ticked down to 1.69% last night, its lowest since mid-January.
"Since October, the employment report has tended to mark turning points in the market, either the day of the report or the day after," Ging continued. He expects a rebound following the report, depending on how strong it is. A weaker-than-expected report will trigger an immediate rebound, while a stronger-than-expected report will trigger a selloff that drives the long bond's yield up to 5.75% before buyers step in, the strategist predicted. Either way, he said, "I think we're going to be making a low at the time of the employment report." Economists surveyed by
are predicting on average that payrolls will grow by 245,000.
Does it go without saying that volume is light today? By 10 a.m., $24 billion of Treasuries had changed hands, 17.4% below average for a first-quarter Wednesday according to tracker
Except for the jobs report, "We've gotten all the important information for the week behind us,"
economist Joel Kent said. "People are thinking about Brazil" -- where the real continues to plunge past its post-devaluation lows of late January -- "and watching stocks. And people were nervous going into Greenspan just in case. There's still the Q&A so we're keeping an eye open for that. But I think we're just going to vacillate on technical stuff unless something surprises us."