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Bond Report: Treasury yields rise as bonds extend selloff

Treasury yields continued to climb on Monday, with the 2-year rate reaching one of its highest levels since 2007, as bonds tumbled in the wake of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish remarks at Jackson Hole at the end of last week.

What’s happening?

The yield on the 2-year Treasury note

climbed 3.6 basis points to 3.427% — its highest 3 p.m. Eastern level since June 14. The 2-year rate touched its highest intraday level since 2007 in earlier activity, according to FactSet.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

 rose 7.5 basis points to 3.109%.

The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond 

rose 4.4 basis points to 3.247%.

What’s driving markets?

Powell told the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday that the central bank’s “overarching” goal was to bring inflation back to its target of 2% and they would not sway from that path until the job is done.

In addition, “reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth,” Powell said.

The remarks disappointed investors who had been hoping Powell might offer signs of a pivot from the central bank’s rate-hiking campaign.

Read: Fed’s Powell sparked a 1,000-point rout in the Dow. Here’s what investors should do next.

Higher bond yields helped push the U.S. dollar higher against the yen, with the greenback trading just shy of a fresh 24-year high against the Asian currency. The dollar USDJPY briefly broke above 139 yen to the dollar early on Monday, before retreating to 138.55.

There were no major data releases on Monday. Investors will now focus on the next big piece of economic data to come this week: August nonfarm payroll data, due out Friday. It is expected to show a gain of 325,000 following a blockbuster reading of 528,000 in July.

Read: What happens next now that Jackson Hole is over? More Fed hawkishness is in the cards

What analysts are saying

“It’s conceivable that Powell and his colleagues will be emboldened to hike the federal-funds rate by a full percentage point (to 3.25%-3.50%) at the Sept. 21 meeting of the FOMC rather than by a measly 75bps given his hawkishness,” said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, in a note to clients.

“The 2-year U.S. Treasury note yield tends to be a leading indicator of the federal-funds rate. It rose to 3.37% on Friday. At the same time, the yield-curve spread between the 10-year and 2-year Treasurys remained solidly negative at -29bps,” he said. “Negative yield-curve spreads have a history of signaling that tighter monetary policies tend to cause financial crises that turn into credit crunches, which cause recessions.”

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