Yeah, yeah, yeah.
The Federal Reserve will announce its interest rate decision on Wednesday–the market currently expects no change to policy interest rates. But I’d argue that the bigger news on internet rates for the day will come when the Treasury announces how many notes and bonds it intends to sell in auctions from November through January. Right now, it looks to me like the bond market is driving interest rates rather than the Fed so the number of bonds Treasury needs to sell is likely to set interest rate trends for the next few weeks.
Bloomberg’s survey of Wall Street primary bond dealers shows that the consensus projection for the quarterly refunding sales announcement—including 3-, 10- and 30-year Treasuries— is for a $114 billion total, up from the $103 billion total three months ago.
Investors are likely to demand a higher yield to buy the larger amount of sales. Today, October 31, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 2 basis points to 4.91%.
There was some thought among participants in the survey that Treasury might hold back on increasing the size of the auctions. Of the 23 Wall Street companies polled, nine thought that the increased total might be as low as $108 billion. Their reasoning goes that Treasury can’t have been pleased by the increase in yields after the last quarterly announcement and officials might want to “go light” in order to prevent yields from climbing quickly after this announcement.
However, the consensus view, Bloomberg concluded, is that letting up on note- and bond-auction growth would expose the Treasury to an increased risk of relying too heavily on short-term bills (which aren’t included in the auction announcement total.) That would expose Treasury to the risk of a rapid increase in short-term yields making the next short-term refunding more expensive. The government is already heavily reliant on bills, which currently comprise about 20% of the Treasury’s debt. That’s near the upper end of the range recommended by the department’s industry advisers.