Treasury Yields Rise as Investors Consider Inflation Outlook, Future Fed Policy

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Treasury yields climbed on Monday as markets scanned Federal Reserve speaker remarks and recent U.S. inflation figures for hints about the central bank's policy plans.

The yield on the policy-sensitive 2-year Treasury was 8 basis points higher at 4.408%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was last up by 4 basis points at 3.872%, remaining below the key 4% level.

Both had plummeted on Thursday, dropping by around 30 and 32 basis points, respectively.

Yields and prices move in opposite directions and one basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.

Investors are closely watching remarks from Federal Reserve speakers for clues about the central bank's policy plans. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard made comments Monday indicating that the central bank could soon slow the pace of its interest rate increases{

Stocks off lows of session on Brainard comments

The S&P 500 rebounded off its lows and Treasury yields eased from their highs a bit late morning after Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said it may "soon" be appropriate to slow the pace of interest rate hikes, in a conversation with Bloomberg News.

The S&P 500 was last just down 0.1% after being off by more than 0.7% at one point Monday. The 10-year Treasury yield was 5 basis points higher to 3.878% after trading as high as about 3.90% earlier.

"I think what's really important to emphasize is we've done a lot but we have additional work to do both on raising rates and sustaining restraint to bring inflation down to 2% over time," Brainard added.

—John Melloy, Jeff Cox

Those comments followed those by Fed Governor Christopher Waller. Speaking at a conference in Sydney on Monday, he said that while the central bank would consider slowing interest rate hikes, there's still "a ways to go" before hikes can be paused.

The central bank has been hiking interest rates to fight persistently high inflation. However, many investors fear that the pace of the hikes is leading the U.S. economy into a recession.

Inflation data released on Thursday showed that consumer prices had risen by less than expected in October. Traders broadly saw this as a sign of inflationary pressures easing and hoped this would prompt a changed in Federal Reserve policy.

Further Fed speakers are due to make comments this week.

Markets will gain further insight into whether inflation is cooling off on Tuesday, when producer price index data is due.

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