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Bonds Rebound From Fed Rate Cut

January 5, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Bond prices rose Friday, as the slowing economy reasserted itself in the minds of investors who abandoned stocks and headed for Treasuries.

The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 7/8 point, or $8.75 per $1,000 in face value. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, fell to 4.92 percent compared with 5.03 percent late Thursday.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 5/8 point to yield 5.40 down from 5.44 percent a day earlier, according to Bridge Telerate news service.

The bounce in bonds continued to reverse declines that were triggered Wednesday when the Federal Reserve’s decided to cut interest rates. That rate cut had led to brief euphoria, as investors snapped up stocks and bonds lagged.

But rumors of corporate losses tied to slower economic growth spurred a selloff in financial stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 250 points on Friday. Investors uncertainty also was fanned by a report from the Labor Department Friday that the nation’s employment rate held steady at 4 percent last month, news that left traders wondering about the Fed’s next step.

As they turned their back on stocks, investors embraced bonds, and the prices reflected the change in thinking.

In other trading Friday, short-term Treasury securities rose between 13/32 point and 15/32 point, while intermediate maturities rose between 25/32 point and 13/16 point.

Yields on three-month Treasury bills were 5.07 percent as the discount fell 0.27 percentage point to 4.95 percent. Six-month yields were 4.98 percent, as the discount fell 0.20 percentage point to 4.80 percent. One-year yields were 4.62 percent as the discount fell by 0.24 percentage point from late Thursday to 4.42 percent.

Yields are the interest bonds pay by maturity, while the discount is the interest at which they are sold.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, fell to 5.81 percent from 6.00 percent late Thursday.

In the tax-exempt market, the Bond Buyer index of 40 actively traded municipal bonds rose 5/16 to 104 5/32. The average yield to maturity fell to 5.39 percent from 5.42 percent Thursday.

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