TREASURIES-Prices dip ahead of Fed minutes

Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:38am EDT

Related Topics

* Minutes may give clues on when Fed stimulus will end
    * Fed minutes due for release at 1800 EDT
    * Stimulus seen scaled back from September -Reuters poll

    By Luciana Lopez
    NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury prices slipped on
Wednesday before the release of minutes from the Federal
Reserve's July policy meeting, which could provide clues on when
the central bank will begin to scale back its stimulus measures.
    
    Yields have surged recently to two-year highs on
expectations the Fed will soon slow its $85 billion monthly
purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.
    Other assets around the world have also been hit, with
riskier emerging markets getting especially hurt.
    "The main entrée of the day is going to be the minutes,
whether we get any insight into their thoughts on tapering,"
said Wilmer Stith, co-manager of the Wilmington Broad Market
Bond Fund in Baltimore.
    "Even if we don't really get anything out of the minutes
that sheds new light on the question, at the end of the day
people are getting set up for a tapering event in September," he
added. 
    The minutes of the meeting are due to be released at 2 p.m. 
(1800 GMT).
    The benchmark 10-year note dipped 8/32 in price
to yield 2.847 percent, from 2.818 percent late on Tuesday.
    The 30-year bond slipped 19/32 in price to yield
3.888 percent from 3.854 percent late on Tuesday.
    Half the economists polled by Reuters expect the Federal
Open Market Committee to begin slowing its asset purchases from
September. 
    But analysts say the Fed's decision will depend on data
illuminating the health of the world's biggest economy.
    "Many analysts (we included) look for a $20 billion
reduction in security purchases when tapering is first announced
in September," wrote Michael Carey of Credit Agricole to clients
on Wednesday.
    "Clearly, the data to be released in the month ahead could
have an impact on the taper amount and the FOMC discussions may
offer insights into how Fed policymakers view the signals sent
by the size of the first tapering move."
    On Wednesday, data showed U.S. home resales rose in July to
their highest level in over three years, suggesting a sharp
increase in mortgage rates is having only a limited impact on
the housing market's recovery. 
 
    "Rising rates will ding sales the next couple of months, but
it will not derail the housing recovery," said Ryan Sweet,
senior economist with Moody's Analytics in West Chester,
Pennsylvania. 
    "Housing affordability remains very favorable and supportive
of future sales. Sales will likely step down a bit due to higher
rates, but as the labor market strengthen and home prices
appreciate further, home sales will continue to climb."
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