Treasuries Climb Off Worst Levels But Still Close Lower
After turning lower over the course of the previous session, treasuries saw some further downside during trading on Wednesday.
Bond prices regained some ground after coming under pressure in morning trading but remained in the red. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.9 basis points to 0.682 percent.
The early weakness among treasuries came after drug giant Pfizer (PFE) and German biotech company BioNTech (BNTX) announced positive data from an early-stage human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech said the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates was generally well tolerated and produced neutralizing antibodies.
An Institute for Supply Management showing U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in the month of June also reduced the appeal of safe haven assets like bonds.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index jumped to 52.6 in June from 43.1 in May, with a reading above 50 indicating an expansion in manufacturing activity.
Economists had expected the index to climb to 49.5, which have still indicated a modest contraction in manufacturing activity.
“As predicted, the growth cycle has returned after three straight months of COVID-19 disruptions,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
He added, “Demand, consumption and inputs are reaching parity and are positioned for a demand-driven expansion cycle as we enter the second half of the year.”
A separate report released by payroll processor ADP showed a significant increase in private sector employment in the month of June as well as a substantial upward revision to the data for May.
ADP said private sector employment jumped by 2.369 million jobs in June, which was below economist estimates for a spike of about 3.000 million jobs.
However, revised data showed private sector employment soared by 3.065 million jobs in May compared to the previously reported loss of 2.760 million jobs.
Treasuries drifted lower in the final hour of trading after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting provided details about reactions to a briefing on implementing yield curve control.
The minutes said nearly all participants indicated they had “many questions regarding the costs and benefits of such an approach.”
Many participants expressed that, as long as the Fed’s forward guidance remained credible, it was not necessary for the central bank to adopt a yield caps or targets policy.
Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the minutes suggest “the Fed is still a long way from rolling out explicit targets for longer-term Treasury yields.”
Trading on Thursday is likely to be driven by reaction to the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report for June.
The report, which is expected to show another spike in employment in June, is likely to overshadow data on weekly jobless claims, the trade deficit and factory orders.