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Yellen Takes Away Bond Punch Bowl as Goldman Sees 40% July Rate Hike Odds

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says there’s a 40% chance the Federal Reserve will raise  interest rates in July — almost double what the bond market projects — as Chair Janet Yellen kept prospects for a move this year alive.

Yellen presented an upbeat view of the economy in a speech Monday, even after weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data on June 3, Goldman Sachs analysts including New York-based Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, wrote in a note to clients. The firm is one of the 23 primary dealers that trade directly with the U.S. central bank.

Yellen’s remarks in a speech in Philadelphia sent 10-year Treasuries to their biggest decline since May 18, unwinding some of last week’s biggest gain in almost five months. She said the U.S. economy was making progress although she was silent on the timing of another rate increase. The Fed will stay on hold at its June 14-15 meeting, according to the Goldman Sachs report.  

“The basic macro economy in the U.S. is very firm,” said Kei Katayama, a bond manager in Tokyo at Daiwa SB Investments, which has about $50 billion in assets. “Yellen wants to hike the rate, even in July.”

Treasuries will probably hold near current levels until the next employment report, Katayama said. “Eventually, I think yields will go up.”

Tuesday Trading

Benchmark Treasuries were unchanged Tuesday, with 10-year note yields at 1.74% as of 6:42 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The price of the 1.625% security maturing in May 2026 was 98 31/32. The yield climbed four basis points Monday.

Goldman’s Hatzius is sticking with his view published after last week’s employment report that there’s a 40% chance of a July rate increase. As recently as March, he was predicting the Fed would raise rates three times this year.

There’s a 61% probability the central bank will move by year-end, climbing from 53% a month ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on futures contracts. The chance of an increase next month was at 22%, down from 55% before Friday’s jobs data. Traders saw just a 2% chance for an increase by July on on Feb. 11.


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