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BOND REPORT : Treasurys See Muted Trade After Fed Minutes Point To Rate Hikes Amid Low Inflation

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10/11/2017 | 10:03pm CEST

By Sunny Oh

Minutes show Fed concern about low inflation readings

Treasurys saw subdued trade on Wednesday, keeping yields in check, after the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's September policy meeting, which revealed that some members wanted to see further economic data before another near-term lift to rates.

Where are Treasury yields?

The 2-year Treasury note yield, the most sensitive to shifting expectations for Fed policy, rose to 1.520%, a fresh 9-year high. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.346%, from 2.342%. Meanwhile, the 30-year bond yield fell to 2.876%, versus 2.880%.

What might drive markets?

The Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from September's gathering showed the majority of its members reported they were in favor of one more rate increase this year, and called for further rate rises. Tighter monetary policy can erode the value of government paper's fixed payments. Traders are pricing in an 87% chance of a quarter-percentage point rate increase in December, CME Group data shows (http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html).

See: December rate hike might not be automatic, minutes of last month's meeting show ()

But analysts said the minutes was more evenhanded than September's policy statement, as some members of the committee said the factors holding down inflation may not just be "transitory," offering justification for gradually raising rates.

What did market participants say?

"These Fed minutes are confusing and inconsistent. On the one hand, they argue that the slowdown in inflation may be more permanent. On the other hand, the minutes argue that more rate hikes are needed and coming," wrote Torsten Slok, chief international economist for Deutsche Bank.

What economic data is on tap?

Job openings in the U.S. dipped to 6.08 million in August, nonetheless close to the record high of 6.14 million set earlier in July. The number underscored the tightness of labor markets, which hit a 4.2% unemployment rate in September .

What are central bankers saying?

Which other assets were in focus?

The yen was up as the Nikkei, Japan's benchmark stock index, hit a 20-year high , in a sign that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies might be finally pushing businesses to invest after core machinery orders jumped 3.4% in August. In commodities, gold futures fell, while crude futures stabilized . China also went ahead with its plans to issue a $2 billion dollar bond, with the sale expected to take place as soon as this month, reported Bloomberg News (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/china-is-said-to-meet-bankers-for-first-dollar-bond-since-2004).

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