Treasuries rose after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that a change in the central bank’s guidance on interest rates won’t lock it into a timetable for raising borrowing costs.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year note closed below 2 percent for the first time in more than a week as Yellen repeated in testimony before Congress that a pledge to be “patient” means an increase is unlikely for “at least the next couple” of meetings. She said the labor market wasn’t fully healed and that she saw no evidence that inflation was rising toward the central bank’s 2 percent goal.
“There’s a bit of a relief trade here that she wasn’t hawkish,” Michael Materasso, who helps oversee $348.3 billion of bonds as co-chairman of the fixed-income policy committee at Franklin Templeton Investments in New York. “Yellen tried to give a balanced outlook in terms of mentioning some of the positives, like how the employment picture has improved, but at the same time didn’t want to provide us with anything close to a timetable.”