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TREASURIES-Yields steady as investors wait on Fed speakers
March 21, 2014 / 1:35 PM / 4 years ago

TREASURIES-Yields steady as investors wait on Fed speakers

* Fed speakers watched for signs over rate policy
    * Fed to buy $1 bln-$1.25 bln bonds due 2036-2044

    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, March 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries yields held
near more than one-week highs as investors waited on a quartet
of Federal Reserve speakers due to speak on Friday for any signs
over whether they will seek to downplay comments on Wednesday by
Fed Chair Janet Yellen that the Fed may raise interest rates
sooner than many expected.
    Yellen, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday after
the Fed's two-day policy meeting, said the Fed could raise rates
six months after its current bond-buying program ends, which
spurred selling on fears of an earlier-than-expected move away
from the bank's near-zero rate policy. 
    Fed officials due to speak on Friday include St. Louis Fed
President James Bullard, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher,
Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and Fed Governor
Jeremy Stein. 
    "There are some views out there that one or more of the Fed
speakers are going to try to downplay the six-month comment from
Yellen," said Jason Rogan, managing director in Treasuries
trading at Guggenheim Partners in York.
    Yellen's comments on Wednesday sent yields spiraling
upwards, with two-year notes among the worst performers as
investors see the notes as likely not offering enough returns
for the scenario that the Fed could raise interest rates in
mid-2015.
    Two-year notes were last yielding 0.45 percent,
little changed from Thursday but up from around 0.34 percent
before Yellen's comments. Benchmark 10-year notes 
were last unchanged in price to yield 2.78 percent, up from
around 2.68 percent before Yellen spoke.
    Kocherlakota, the lone dissenter to the Fed's policy
decision this week, said in remarks released on Friday that the
Fed should have promised to keep rates near zero until U.S.
unemployment falls below 5.5 percent, as long as inflation and
financial stability risks are contained, 
    By dropping the Fed's pledge to keep rates low until the
jobless rate reaches a more healthy level, the U.S. central bank
is sending the wrong message on both inflation and jobs, he
said. 
    The Fed will buy between $1 billion and $1.25 billion in
bonds due from 2036 to 2044 on Friday as part of its ongoing
purchases.
    

 (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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