NEW YORK (AP) _ Prices for Treasury securities were narrowly mixed in uneventful trading early today.
The price of the Treasury’s bellwether 30-year bond, which fell point on Tuesday, was up 3-32 point, or around 93 cents per $1,000 in face amount around midday. Its yield was 7.47 percent, unchanged from late Tuesday.
Analysts said there was no fresh news to move the market, and trading was particularly quiet.
″If there’s a bias at all here, it’s probably for some caution,″ said John Sebastian, executive vice president at Clayton Brown & Associates in Chicago.
He noted that traders have been distracted by a large supply of corporate and municipal bonds that have come on the market as sellers take advantage of the recent decline in long-term interest rates.
Underwriters of corporate bonds generally buy Treasury bonds of comparable maturity as a hedging strategy to guard against an unfavorable market reception for the corporate issues. They sell the government bonds after the corporate issues have been digested by the market.
″The effect is a downward bias on (Treasury) prices,″ Sebastian said.
Around midday in the secondary market for Treasury bonds, short-term maturities were up 1-32 point and intermediate maturities were down between 5-32 point and 1/8 point, the Telerate Inc. financial information service reported.
The movement of a point is equivalent to a change of $10 in the price of a bond with a $1,000 face value.
The Lehman Brothers Daily Treasury Bond Index, which measures price movements on all outstanding Treasury issues with maturities of a year or longer, dipped .20 points at 1,254.39.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills issued auction fell to 3.04 percent as the discount fell 2 basis point to 2.99 percent. Yields on six-month bills auction fell to 3.24 percent as the discount fell 1 basis point to 3.15 percent. Yields on one-year bills fell to 3.50 percent as the discount lost 3 basis points to 3.37 percent.
A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. The yield is the annualized return on an investment in a Treasury bill. The discount is the percentage that bills are selling below the face value, which is paid at maturity.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 2 7/8 percent, up from 2 13-16 percent late Tuesday.