By David Randall
NEW YORK, Jan 2 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields popped higher Tuesday on the first trading day of the new year as traders lowered expectations for rate cuts in 2024.
Markets are pricing in that the Federal Reserve will cut benchmark rates beginning in March by a total of 150 basis points this year, down from expectations of more than 160 basis points in cuts seen last week.
The jump in yields, which move in the opposite direction to prices, was expected given the outsized rally in Treasuries over November and December in response to signs that inflation was cooling more than expected and the Federal Reserve was closer to cutting rates, said David Albrycht, chief investment officer at Newfleet Asset Management.
"Things may have gotten a little ahead of themselves, whether it's equity valuations or expectations of Treasury rate cuts," he said. "People have become really complacent that the Fed is going to execute a soft landing but it's still not clear."
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR was up 8.4 basis points at 3.944%, roughly 15 basis points above its six-month low hit in December. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond US30YT=RR was up 6.6 basis points at 4.084%.
The two-year US2YT=RR U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was up 7.2 basis points at 4.322%.
Investors will be monitoring economic figures this week, including jobs data on Friday that may influence whether the Fed begins to cut rates in March as markets expect. The minutes from the central bank's December policy meeting will be released Wednesday.
The New York Fed said on Tuesday that it had accepted $704.9 billion submitted to its overnight reverse repo facility on Jan. 2, well below the $1.018 trillion it accepted on the final trading day of 2023. The Fed's reverse repo facility exists to put a floor underneath short-term interest rates and has been shrinking as the Fed continues to draw down liquidity.
Futures markets see a nearly 70% chance of a 25 basis point rate cut at the March 20 meeting, up from a 55% chance seen a month ago, according to CME's FedWatch Tool.
Markets will likely be focusing on the upcoming labor market data to gauge the next move in Treasuries, said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets.
"We’re skeptical that anything on the near-term macro horizon will materially alter the underlying tone favoring higher yields," he said.
January 2 Tuesday 2:08 p.m. New York / 1908 GMT
Current Yield %
Net Change (bps)
Three-month bills US3MT=RR
Six-month bills US6MT=RR
Two-year note US2YT=RR
Three-year note US3YT=RR
Five-year note US5YT=RR
Seven-year note US7YT=RR
10-year note US10YT=RR
20-year bond US20YT=RR
30-year bond US30YT=RR
(Reporting by David Randall; editing by Barbara Lewis and Tomasz Janowski)