Yields declined on Thursday as Treasury traders digested comments from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on interest rate policy plans and looked ahead to key economic data.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 3.603%, losing 10 basis points. The 2-year Treasury yield was last at 4.326% after declining by more than 4 basis points.
Yield and prices have an inverted relationship and one basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.
Markets assessed the outlook for future interest rate hikes after Powell said on Wednesday that the pace of rate hikes could be slowed as soon as December.
“It makes sense to moderate the pace of our rate increases as we approach the level of restraint that will be sufficient to bring inflation down,” he explained at an event by the Brookings Institution.
His tone echoed that of other Fed speakers, who have in recent weeks indicated that rates would continue to rise, but likely in smaller increments. The central bank has implemented four consecutive 75 basis point rate hikes so far this year, and traders are now expecting a 50 basis point increase from its December meeting.
On Thursday, traders will gain fresh insights into how high interest rates and inflation are affecting consumers, as personal spending and income figures for October will be published.
The release of ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index, which reflects whether factory activity is growing or contracting, will provide additional hints about the state of the broader US economy. Last month’s figures reflected the slowest activity growth since mid-2020.