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U.S. Government-Bond Yields Rise After Trade Progress

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08/25/2020 | 01:03pm EDT

By Orla McCaffrey

Treasury yields rose Tuesday morning after overnight progress in trade talks between the U.S. and China.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to a recent 0.708%, according to Tradeweb. It closed at 0.645% on Monday. The yield on the 30-year bond also rose, trading at a recent 1.417%, from 1.349% the previous day.

The climb began overnight after China and the U.S. said they were committed to executing the phase-one trade deal between the two countries. A summary of a meeting between trade representatives included discussion of "significant increases" in U.S. product purchases by China, a potential boon for a pandemic-battered U.S. economy.

Signs the coronavirus pandemic may be slowing in the U.S. also boosted yields. New cases fell recently to their lowest level in more than two months and data from trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine could be ready to be handed over to regulators this year, a scientist working on the vaccine said Tuesday.

Bond yields tend to rise when investors feel better about the economy, since quicker growth can lead to inflation, which erodes the purchasing power of bonds' fixed payments and can put pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury traded within a narrow range in recent weeks, with investors confident that the Fed will continue to support the economy -- and fixed-income assets -- by holding short-term interest rates near zero and buying Treasurys. The next test for that view comes Thursday, when some investors expect Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to signal shifts to the central bank's approach to managing inflation.

"Presumably this means lower rates for longer as a way to re-center inflation expectations around the central bank's 2% mandate," Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, said in a note Tuesday.

Write to Orla McCaffrey at orla.mccaffrey@wsj.com

 

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