Treasuries fell as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments on U.S. monetary policy bolstered speculation that the central bank will raise interest rates this year.
Yields climbed after Yellen said in a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that the case to raise rates is strengthening as the U.S. economy approaches the central bank’s goals.
Yellen’s comments follow a chorus of Fed officials warning bond investors that they’re underestimating the chance that the central bank will raise rates. Kansas City Fed President Esther George said Thursday that labor-market gains and rising inflation warrant higher interest rates.
Yields on benchmark two-year notes, the coupon maturity most sensitive to Fed expectations, increased 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 0.81 percent as of 10:02 a.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data.
Before Yellen’s comments, futures indicated about a 30 percent chance the central bank will raise rates when it meets in September and a 55 percent probability of a hike by December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.