Treasury bond prices are sharply lower again this morning on light volume and little news. Traders' chief concern appears to be a widening imbalance between supply and demand, as issuers around the globe prepare to peddle an estimated $30 billion of new debt in the coming days.
The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was lately down a point at 100 16/32, boosting its yield 7 basis points to 5.22%, the highest since Dec. 24. Shorter-maturity note yields were also higher, but by smaller amounts. The two-year note, for example, was down 2/32, lifting its yield 3 basis points to 4.61%. The difference in yield between the two-year note and the long bond widened to 61 basis points, the widest since Dec. 16, from 57 at yesterday's close.
With no market-moving economic indicators on the calendar and the dollar mixed (stronger against the euro, weaker against the yen), the focus is on the groaning new issue calendar, said Ken Logan, managing analyst at
Thomson Global Markets
"The bigger shops are taking a global view," embracing tomorrow's auction of $8 billion of 10-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, today's launch of a $3 billion-$4 billion 10-year
bond, a Japanese government bond issue on Thursday and various euro-denominated and corporate deals, Logan said. "They see what's coming, and they're playing a little defensively here."
Plus, Logan said, it's not too early for traders to start thinking about the Treasury's next quarterly refunding, in February, when new five- and 10-year notes and 30-year bonds will be issued.
At the same time, trading volume is below normal for the second day in a row, despite the turn of the year. Normally, volume is light at year-end, but picks up in January. By 10 a.m. EST, just $19.3 billion of Treasuries had changed hands, 28.4% below average for a first-quarter Tuesday, according to tracker
"This would be a high supply week in normal-volume times, but we're only at two-thirds of normal volume, so it's probably having an exaggerated effect on prices," Logan said.
Expectations as reported by