Bond Report: Treasury yields rise as trade negotiations get under way

February 11
18:52 2019

Treasury prices were slightly lower Monday, nudging yields higher, as a U.S. delegation arrived in China to negotiate a trade accord.

The 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.75% was up 1.6 basis points to 2.648%, while the 2-year note yield TMUBMUSD02Y, +0.50% rose a single basis point to 2.473%. The 30-year bond yield TMUBMUSD30Y, +0.56% picked up a basis point to 2.985%. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

Opinion: Fed could pause rate hikes for as long as Treasury yield curve stays flat

Tariff talks between the U.S. and China have started in Beijing with a round of low-level talks taking place on Monday. After which, U.S. Treasury Secretary and Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and China’s Vice Premier Liu He will meet later at Feb. 14-15.

Axios reported on Sunday that the White House was looking at President Donald Trump’s Florida golf club, Mar-a-Lago, as the venue for a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to end the trade war. Last week, Trump said he didn’t expect to meet with Xi before a 90-day trade truce ends on March 1.

“There will be important events this week connected to two of the key global uncertainties: high-level trade talks between the US and China in Beijing and UK-EU talks in Brussels. But neither looks set to produce a breakthrough, prolonging the uncertainty. U.S.-China trade talks could, however, produce some progress as the 1 March deadline approaches,” wrote analysts at Société Générale.

See: U.S. stock futures set for higher start as trade talks kick off, China equities rise

Investors relieved from the resumption of trade talks trickled into equities even as appetite for Treasurys were muted, pushing yields higher. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.25% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.14% were trading higher, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +1.36% ended higher by 1.4%.

The U.K. economy grew 1.3% in 2018, its slowest annual pace in six years, amid softening factory activity and lower car production. The report comes as the U.K. seeks to secure a Brexit deal before its leave the ranks of the European Union at March 29. The U.K. 10-year government bond yield TMBMKGB-10Y, +2.48% rose 2.1 basis points to 1.170%, Tradeweb data show.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans struggled to make headway on negotiations to stave off another government shutdown at Feb. 15. If the government shutters at the end of the week, analysts say it could draw concerns over the coming debt ceiling.

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Sunny Oh is a MarketWatch fixed-income reporter based in New York.

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