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BOND REPORT: Treasury Yields Slip As Wall Street Frets About Global Trade, White House Unrest

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03/07/2018 | 03:22pm CEST

By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch

Treasurys drew bidders on Wednesday, pushing yields lower, as investors sought havens after equities were rattled in the wake of economic adviser Gary Cohn's resignation from the White House.

How are Treasurys performing?

The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 2 basis points to 2.857%, according to Tradeweb. The 2-year note yield was mostly flat at 2.242%. The 30-year bond yield declined 1.1 basis points to 3.125%.

Debt prices rise as yields fall, and vice versa.

What's driving Treasurys?

Worries about a disruption to markets arising from the prospect of a global trade war, following the Cohn news late Tuesday. His exit is seen elevating the likelihood that Trump will push forward with plans to institute tariffs on steel and aluminum imports soon.

Read more:How a tariff-rattled stock market is reacting to Cohn's resignation

Moreover, Cohn had served as the president's top adviser for 14 months and was widely seen as pro-business and pro-trade by market participants and the man behind corporate tax cuts written in to law late last year. The ex-Goldman was said to be working on a rollout of an infrastructure-spending proposal. However, Cohn didn't favor imposing tariffs, preferring to free-market policies over protectionist ones.

So called haven assets, including the Japanese yen at Yen105.88, compared with Yen106.12 late Tuesday in New York, and bonds, have gained ground amid uncertainty over U.S. policy.

The Trump administration also is considering a broad range of import tariffs on Chinese goods, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, the European Union officials are priming their regulatory guns to fire back at U.S. President Donald Trump's tariff plan.

What are market participants saying?

"Interest rates look to have stalled out, and give no clear cut picture over the last couple of weeks. Yet sentiment remains quite negative on Treasurys, offering a bullish view on Treasuries similar to what happened last March when yields peaked out. Overall, the next few days will be important in gauging the effect of the Tariff implementation and seeing how markets react," wrote Mark Newton, market analyst at Newton Advisors in a Wednesday research note.

What data are in focus?

What else is on investors' radar?

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic says tariffs have cast uncertainty over the economy. Bostic will join the voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank's rate-setting body.

What other assets are on the move?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index appear poised to see heavy losses at the open.

Meanwhile, the German 10-year government bond , viewed by some as a proxy for the health of the European economy, saw yields at 0.660%, compared with 0.676% in the previous session.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.26% 26492.21 Delayed Quote.7.17%
NASDAQ 100 0.19% 7563.1939 Delayed Quote.18.02%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.18% 8007.4713 Delayed Quote.15.70%
S&P 500 -0.13% 2915.56 Real-time Quote.9.19%
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