Treasury yields slide with coronavirus vaccine efforts, reopening in focus

U.S. government debt prices were higher on Wednesday morning amid a volatile week on Wall Street, with investors monitoring progress on a coronavirus vaccine and economic reopening efforts.

At around 2:10 a.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped to 0.6931% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was down at 1.4181%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Market volatility is largely being driven by uncertainty over the likelihood of a coronavirus vaccine and concern over whether the reopening of state economies could open the door to a second wave of infections, as warned by public health experts.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday defended the Trump administration’s fiscal response to the crisis, and told the Senate Banking Committee that he would consider extending and modifying a payroll loan program for small businesses.

Meanwhile, Republican Senators put the brakes on a $3 trillion support package passed last week by the House of Representatives, saying that they are in no hurry to work on additional fiscal support measures.

There are no major economic data releases scheduled for Wednesday, but minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will be published at 2 p.m. ET and could give further insight into policymakers’ decision to hold interest rates near zero in late April.

Auctions will be held Wednesday for $40 billion each of 105-day and 154-day Treasury bills, along with $20 billion of 20-year bonds.