Treasuries Fall as Traders Look Past GDP Miss to Inflation Data

  • Though U.S. economy grew just 0.7%, employment costs climb
  • Benchmark Treasury yields set for second weekly increase

Treasuries declined, with benchmark yields on pace to climb for a second-straight week, as traders looked past weaker-than-forecast U.S. economic growth in favor of data that shows sustained inflation worldwide.

The 10-year U.S. yield rose three basis points to 2.32 percent at 9:32 a.m. in New York. It touched a session high after the release of quarterly gross domestic product, which rose 0.7 percent, compared with the 1 percent estimate. By contrast, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment cost index climbed 0.8 percent, the largest gain since 2007 and a sign wage growth is starting to accelerate in the world’s largest economy.

The ECI figures build upon data showing euro-area April price growth rose to 1.9 percent, beating analysts’ estimates. Core inflation reached 1.2 percent, the highest since 2013. The U.S. 10-year break-even rate, a market gauge of inflation expectations, touched a three-week high.

“The inflation data is more important than the miss in other components,” Anthony Cronin, a trader in New York at Societe Generale SA, said in an email after the release. “It puts more pressure on the Fed and comes on the back of the strong European CPI print this morning.”

  • Yield curve flattens after economic data release; 5s30s still on track for third straight week of steepening
  • Treasuries were near session lows heading into the data after $290k/DV01 block trade in 5Y futures, which also knocked 5s30s off session wides 
  • Odds of June hike edged up to ~68% from ~62% based on 2nd Fed dated OIS
  • Fed speakers on black-out ahead of May 3 FOMC, however Lael Brainard is scheduled to speak at 1:15pm about fintech and Patrick Harker speaks at 2:30pm on STEM at Washington D.C. event

— With assistance by Edward Bolingbroke

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