BOND REPORT: Treasury Yields Climb After U.S. Economy Posts Fourth-quarter GDP Reading

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Fourth-quarter GDP rose to 2.6%, but below the 3.0% median forecast from economists polled by MarketWatch

Treasury yields on Friday rose, as investors sold government paper, after a solid reading of U.S. gross domestic product for the fourth quarter.

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Though trading for long-dated yields were muted for the week, short-dated yields maintained their persistent climb on strong economic data and higher rate-hike expectations.

How are Treasurys performing?

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 2.6 basis points to 2.647%, leading to a weeklong gain of 2.3 points.

The 2-year note yield added 3.6 basis points to 2.120%, contributing to a weeklong gain of 6.3 basis points, while the 30-year bond yield was up 2.1 basis points to 2.911%, but was mostly flat for the week.

Bond prices move inversely to yields.

What's driving the markets?

A first reading of gross-domestic-product data for the fourth quarter of 2017 showed the U.S. economy GDP growth of 2.6% falls short of Wall Street's target for 3% output by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

See: Why the GDP report was a 'good miss' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-gdp-report-was-a-good-miss-2018-01-26)

Nonetheless, the solid reading added to signs of a global economic upswing, which has lifted the S&P 500 , the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite to repeated records in January. Corporate tax cuts and a broader increase to corporate spending spurred by pro-business policies, also has factored into growth expectations.

Increases to U.S. output could push the Fed to act more aggressively to tamp down a market and economy that by some measures is at lofty valuations. The central bank is set to hold its policy meeting next Tuesday.

Yesterday, investors also digested the European Central Bank decision to keep rates unchanged while acknowledging that the eurozone economy is gathering steam as a signal that the central bank may be gearing up to adopt a more hawkish posture.

What are strategists saying?

"In short, growth was a bit less than generally expected, disappointing hopes for a third consecutive 3%-or-better quarter for the first time since 2005, but the details were stronger than the headline figure," said Jim O' Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics.

What else is on investors' radar?

A downtrodden U.S. dollar (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-boost-fades-for-dollar-as-investors-brace-for-gdp-data-2018-01-26), which lost some upward traction after President Donald Trump said he endorsed a strong dollar, has weighed on government paper as well. A weaker currency can make Treasurys less attractive to foreign buyers.

Durable goods climbed 2.9% in December (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autos-airplanes-boost-orders-for-us-durable-goods-in-december-2018-01-26), well above the 0.9% increase predicted by MarketWatch economists. The strength of the number was attributed to stronger demand for airplanes and automobiles.

What are other assets doing?

The yield on the 10-year German bond , known as the bund, was at 0.624%, compared with 0.589%, according to FactSet data.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2018 15:54 ET (20:54 GMT)

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