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BOND REPORT : Treasury Yield See Biggest Weekly Rise Since November

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01/18/2019 | 04:32pm EST

By Sunny Oh

Stocks extend rally as demand for haven assets wanes

Treasury yields rose sharply on Friday, capping a weeklong rise, as a rally in global stocks dampened appetite for haven assets like U.S. government paper ahead of a three-day weekend for U.S. markets.

Most U.S. financial markets will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday .

The 10-year Treasury note yield rose 3.6 basis points to 2.783%, for a weekly rise of 8.2 basis points. The 2-year note yield was up 4.8 basis points to 2.611%, its highest since Dec. 21, contributing to a weekly climb of 6.4 basis points. Both maturities logged their largest weekly yield gains since Nov. 2.

The 30-year bond yield advanced 2 basis points to 3.095%, extending its weekly rise to 5.9 basis points. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

U.S. equities posted their fourth straight gain , while stock markets in Asia and Europe also gained ground. The Shanghai Composite finished higher, and the Stoxx Europe 600 index rose sharply.

Bloomberg News reported China offered to increase purchases of U.S. imports over six years to more than $1 trillion annually, which would close the U.S. trade deficit with China by 2024 . Reuters also reported (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-trade-exclusive/exclusive-us-pushing-for-regular-review-of-china-trade-reform-progress-idUSKCN1PC2AG) that U.S. officials were seeking regular assessments of China's progress on trade reforms, a move that could satisfy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's demands for a way to verify China's pledges on trade.

The raft of trade-related developments follows Thursday's Wall Street Journal report that U.S. officials were debating rolling back tariffs on Chinese imports to push Beijing into making greater concessions. A Treasury Department spokesman, however, insisted the U.S. negotiating stance was still at the discussion stage, and that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had yet to make trade-related recommendations.

"Reflection and introspection about the sagacity of the U.S. tariffs is probably taking place within the administration," said analysts at Macquarie.

"The U.S. Treasury after all, often takes the role of the economy's protector, so it makes sense that any request for a review or re-examination of the tariffs would come from the Treasury Department," they said.

As for data, industrial production numbers for December rose 0.3%, amid growing interest if U.S. factories are slowing down from tariff-related trade tensions The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for January, however, fell to 90.7 from 98.3.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams sai d the central bank should act more cautiously in the face of a softer economic outlook, echoing calls for the Fed to pause its hiking cycle and watch see how economic data shakes out before pressing forward with further increases.

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