BOND REPORT: Treasury Yields Sink To 4-week Low As Trump Controversy Drives Investors To Bonds

By Sunny Oh Features Dow Jones Newswires

Treasury yields across the board tumble

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Treasury yields tumbled Wednesday as political jitters linger from President Donald Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and over intelligence protocol, drawing investors into bonds from riskier markets.

The yield for the 10-year note fell 7.8 basis points to 2.247%, the lowest since April 21 when it closed at 2.234%. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

Stocks fell sharply (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-slide-as-concerns-over-trump-grow-2017-05-17) as worries percolated that Trump will be able to push forward with a pro-growth agenda focused on taxes and infrastructure, which had helped drive stocks to repeat records.

A week after Trump fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, an old memo from Comey, reported by the New York Times (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-asked-comey-to-drop-flynn-investigation-report-2017-05-16), showed Trump had asked him to drop an inquiry investigating links between Russia and Michael Flynn, who would eventually become National Security Advisor. Flynn was removed from that post over revelations that he discussed with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak on the possibility of lifting sanctions on Moscow and lied to Vice President Mike Pence.

Treasury buying among Japanese and broader Asian asset managers rose in response to the news. Other assets perceived as safe rallied along with the U.S. government bond rally. German sovereign bonds, or bunds, fell closely behind, with the 10-year bund losing 5.3 basis points to 0.379%. Gold also climbed 1.68% to $1257.2 per ounce.

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Some analysts have said that the recent controversy shouldn't push back the schedule and likelihood of tax reform, which would boost economic growth and inflation, and diminish the returns of bonds' fixed payments. At the same time, speculation of Trump's impeachment has gained momentum as bookmakers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-impeachment-odds-increasingly-point-to-an-early-exit-2017-05-17)reflect higher odds for Trump's removal from the White Office. This outcome would, however, require the support of two-thirds of the Republican-dominated Congress.

A week light on economic data releases might keep traders especially sensitive to a source of geopolitical concern that has refused to go away.

"There is very little economic data out this week so external events will play a large role in the market direction," wrote Tom di Galoma, managing director of Treasurys trading at Seaport Global Securities in a note.

Treasury yields for the 2-year note lost 4.9 basis points to 1.254%, hovering close to their lowest levels in four weeks, while the 30-year bond, or the long bond, lost 6.5 basis points to 2.928%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 17, 2017 11:39 ET (15:39 GMT)