Serrari Group

In a pivotal turn of events, U.S. Treasury yields saw a sharp increase today as the Federal Reserve made a significant announcement, indicating its intention to implement yet another rate hike before the conclusion of 2023. This development propelled two key Treasury notes to levels not seen in years.

The 2-year Treasury yield soared, marking a significant rise of nearly 6 basis points and landing at a substantial 5.167%. Simultaneously, the yield on the 10-year Treasury followed suit, climbing by almost 3 basis points to reach 4.393%. The 2-year yield reached its highest point since July 2006, while the 10-year note attained levels last witnessed back in November 2007.

It’s crucial to note that yields and bond prices share an inverse relationship, with one basis point equivalent to 0.01%.

As widely anticipated, the Federal Reserve maintained interest rates at their current levels during its latest meeting. However, it sent a clear signal that it plans to tighten monetary policy once more before concluding its series of rate hikes. Subsequent to this increase, the central bank revealed its intention to initiate rate reductions in 2024, albeit at a more gradual pace compared to earlier suggestions. This signifies that interest rates are expected to remain elevated for a prolonged period.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, during a press conference following the meeting, emphasized the Fed’s cautious approach to further rate hikes, despite acknowledging the ongoing battle with persistent inflation. He mentioned that a soft landing for the economy is plausible but not the central bank’s primary scenario.

Concerns about higher rates potentially dragging the U.S. economy into a recession have lingered among investors, leading many to hope for the end of the Fed’s rate-hiking cycle. However, Fed officials have not ruled out the possibility of additional rate increases.

Rajeev Sharma, managing director of fixed income at Key Private Bank, interpreted the Fed’s decision as an indication of its intent to maintain higher rates for an extended period. He stated, “Overall, while acknowledging a slowdown in job growth, the Fed remains committed to keeping rates higher for longer, contrasting with market expectations that remain focused on rate cuts late in the first quarter or early second quarter of 2024. According to today’s statement, rate cuts are not coming until we see further cooling on the inflation front.”

The Federal Reserve commenced its rate-hiking journey in March 2022 and has consistently pursued this course at almost every subsequent meeting, aiming to curb inflation and moderate overall economic growth, including in the labor market.

Recent consumer and producer price index reports from last week have indicated the persistence of inflationary pressures, albeit at a moderate level.

As the Fed continues to navigate the complex economic landscape, markets and investors alike will remain vigilant, closely monitoring the central bank’s actions and their potential impact on the financial landscape.

Photo Source: Google

20th September, 2023
Delino Gayweh
Serrari Financial Analyst

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