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TREASURIES-Prices slip as investors look to ECB, other events on Thursday
June 7, 2017 / 2:47 PM / 6 months ago

TREASURIES-Prices slip as investors look to ECB, other events on Thursday

NEW YORK, June 7 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices fell on Wednesday, with yields trading within narrow ranges, as investors consolidated positions ahead of a key events on Thursday, including a European Central Bank policy meeting and Britain’s general election.

Markets will also be focused on former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday before a Senate panel probing alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

“We’re basically battening down the hatches before all the event risks tomorrow,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.

“There’s plenty to move the market and I don’t think anybody has a strong grasp of how things will play out,” he added.

The ECB is widely expected to keep its policy unchanged on Thursday, including its 2.3 trillion euro bond buying program, and pledge to keep interest rates low. But sources told Reuters last week the ECB will acknowledge the improved economic outlook by removing a reference to “downside risks” in its statement.

Comey, on the other hand, will likely hold back in his testimony from accusing President Donald Trump of trying to interfere with an investigation into possible links between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russian officials, Reuters quoted legal sources as saying.

Trump fired Comey on May 9 in a shock move that heightened scrutiny of the matter.

Britain’s elections are also on the market’s radar, as they could determine whether the country has a smooth or hard exit from the European Union. A majority victory for Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May would ensure a smooth transition out of the EU, analysts said.

Opinion polls have shown May’s lead over the opposition Labor party narrow over the last three weeks, with some even suggesting she could fall short of a majority government.

Tom di Galoma, managing director at Seaport Global Holdings in New York, however, said the impact of the events on Thursday seem to have been “downgraded to neutral,” which should reverse some of the flight-to-quality trades in the market this week.

In mid-morning trading, U.S. 10-year Treasuries were last down 4/32 in price, with yields at 2.160 percent, from 2.147 percent late on Tuesday.

U.S. 30-year bonds fell 9/32 in price, yielding 2.824 percent, compared with Tuesday’s 2.81 percent.

U.S. two-year yields, on the other hand, were at 1.310 percent, from 1.298 percent late on Tuesday. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Paul Simao)

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