August 24, 2017 / 6:50 PM / a year ago

TREASURIES-Yields rise as central bank speeches in focus

 (Updates prices)
    * Fed's Yellen, ECB's Draghi to speak on Friday
    * Investors seek signals ECB is close to paring bond
    * Some Treasury bill yields rise on debt ceiling concerns

    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields edged
higher on Thursday as investors waited on central bank speeches
in Jackson Hole for fresh indications on monetary policy, while
some Treasury bills weakened on concerns about the U.S. debt
    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi were due to speak at the central bank
conference in Wyoming on Friday.
    “We’re waiting to see if anything comes out of Jackson Hole,
I don’t think anyone is putting any big positions on here,” said
Lou Brien, a market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago.
    Market participants will be watching for any signals that
the ECB is close to paring its bond purchases, though two
sources have told Reuters that Draghi will not deliver any new
policy message at the event.             
    The Fed is widely expected to announce a plan to reduce its
balance sheet at its September meeting.
    Benchmark 10-year notes             fell 6/32 in price to
yield 2.19 percent, up from 2.17 percent on Tuesday.
    Benchmark yields have held in a tight range since falling to
almost two-month lows on Friday on concerns about political
discord in Washington and tensions between the United States and
North Korea.
    Yields on Treasury bills due in early October rose on
worries that payments on the debt could be delayed if U.S.
lawmakers fail to raise the debt ceiling before the government
runs out of funds, which is expected in late September.
    Concerns about the debt ceiling have increased since U.S.
President Donald Trump said late on Tuesday that he would be
willing to risk a government shutdown to secure funding for a
border wall.             
    Yields on Treasury bills due on Oct. 5              rose as
high as 1.175 percent and bills due on Oct. 12 touched 1.206
percent, both the highest since Aug. 10. 
    Republicans including Paul Ryan said they did not agree that
a government shutdown is desirable.             
    Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday that a failure by U.S.
officials to raise the federal debt ceiling in a timely manner
would prompt it to review the U.S. sovereign rating, "with
potentially negative implications."             

 (Editing by Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli)
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