Interest rates have gone down rather than up in 2016. That is not what most market pundits and forecasters were calling for at the start of the year. Now a new 30-year Treasury Bond auction may be signaling at least some hesitation for investors to lend the government billions and billions at lower and lower yields.
Keep in mind that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen finished her testimony in front of the Senate shortly before this auction. Yellen was far from hawkish, but she also would not rule out the possibilities of negative rates or rate hikes ahead.
Another issue is that overseas markets were weak enough that they have been wrecking stocks (Dow down 300 points and S&P 500 down 33 points).
For a comparison, the 30-year auction on Thursday went with a little less demand than the 10-year auction on Wednesday. Still, the yield was right at 2.50%, versus roughly 2.47% before the auction. That generally implies that dealers expected more auction demand than they really got.
Indirect bidding, foreign bank bidding interest, was high at 58%. The direct bidding from primary dealers was 10.3%. Thursday’s total auction was for $15 billion, and the bid-to-cover ratio of 2.09 was less than we have seen in prior auctions.
The 10-year Treasury yield was over 1.70% on Wednesday and was last seen closer to 1.63%.