U.S. Markets

New York Fed tweaks repo operations as market functioning improves

FILE PHOTO: People walk wearing masks outside The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in New York City, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - The New York Federal Reserve is slightly raising the price of its operations in the market for repurchase agreements, or repo, after seeing “substantial improvements” in market conditions, the bank announced on Thursday.

Beginning next Tuesday, the minimum rate on the Fed’s overnight repo operations will be set at 0.05 percentage point above the interest rate on excess reserves (IOER), or the rate that the Fed pays to banks holding balances at the central bank. Currently, the minimum bid rate for overnight repo is equal to the IOER.

Starting June 22, the New York Fed will shift to offering overnight repo operations in the afternoon instead of the morning. The Fed will also stop publishing daily updates on its planned repo operations, directing people who need more details to visit its website here.

The central bank’s interventions in money markets go back to mid-September, when a shortage of liquidity led to a temporary spike in short-term interest rates. The Fed began to scale back those operations at the start of this year but had to ramp them back up in March after concerns about the rapidly spreading coronavirus roiled markets.

Fed officials pledged after the policy setting meeting this week to keep monitoring money markets and adjust its support as needed.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Tom Brown