U.S. Treasury yields were mixed on Thursday ahead of the Federal Reserves annual Jackson Hole summit as investors looked for signs about when the central bank will begin to tighten its policy.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose less than a basis point to 1.346% at 4:15 p.m. ET. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell nearly 2 basis points to 1.943%. Yields move inversely to prices and 1 basis point equals 0.01%.
The 10-year yield rose as high as 1.375% in the morning — the highest level since earlier in the month, when it yielded as much as 1.379% — on hawkish comments from Fed officials. Yields pulled back in the afternoon as events in Afghanistan unfolded. The Pentagon confirmed 12 U.S. service members were killed and 15 wounded after two explosions went off outside the Kabul airport Thursday.
The Feds Jackson Hole symposium, which brings together central bankers from around the world, will be held virtually on Friday, with many central bank speakers making remarks to the media beginning Thursday.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on CNBCs Squawk Box that he wants to see the central bank begin to cut its asset purchases, a process known as tapering, to stave off inflation.
I think a lot depends on whether inflation going to moderate in 2022 or not. Im a little skeptical that it is. I think were going to get at least 2.5% inflation in 2022, maybe higher than that and theres some risk to the upside on that, Bullard said.
Bullard also said that the Fed may need to get aggressive if the tapering does not contain inflation. Treasury yields moved higher following Bullards comments.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is then due to give remarks at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, with investors listening in for any clues as to when the central bank will start winding down its program of buying at least $120 billion of bonds per month.
Chris Watling, CEO and chief market strategist at Longview Economics, told CNBCs Squawk Box Europe on Thursday that he believed Powells statement on Friday would be a little bit more dovish than the market expects.
Watling also believed that the Fed would taper more slowly than the market expects, all of which would allow markets to keep moving higher.
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On the data front, weekly jobless claims came in 353,000, roughly in line with the 350,000 claims expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The prior week saw 348,000 claims.
Second-quarter GDP growth came in a 6.6%, just a tick below the consensus estimate of 6.7%.
Auctions were held on Thursday for $30 billion of 4-week bills, $30 billion of 8-week bills and $62 billion of 7-year notes.
— CNBCs Maggie Fitzgerald and Jesse Pound contributed to this market report.
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