U.S. Treasury yields were higher Wednesday as traders parsed through the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting policy meeting.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was up 8 basis points at 2.904%. The 30-year bond yield was up 4 basis points at 3.15%. To be sure, rates eased slightly from their highs of the day after the release. Yields move inversely to prices, and a basis point is equal to 0.01%.
“Yields were already up a fair bit today… It was hawkish but they already had expected hawkish, ” said Wells Fargo’s Michael Schumacher.
The yield on the shorter-term 2-year Treasury note last traded 4 basis points higher at 3.289%.
“With inflation remaining well above the Committee’s objective, participants judged that moving to a restrictive stance of policy was required to meet the Committee’s legislative mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability,” the minutes stated. The Fed raised rates by 75 basis points at its July 26-27 meeting.
Those minutes come as the global economy tries to navigate an environment featuring strong inflationary pressures and data showing signs of economic slowdown.
Data released earlier this week showed U.S. housing starts last month fell 9.6% from June. That decline was above the expected 2.5% drop anticipated by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. Building permits slipped 1.3% but beat estimates. Builders have reported weakening demand since June, with fears of a housing recession in the U.S. on the rise.
Some in the industry say it’s already here. “Tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve and persistently elevated construction costs have brought on a housing recession,” Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told CNBC.
At the same time, retail data indicated that activity remained flat in July as consumers shifted spending online and falling fuel prices contributed to a decline in gas station sales.