Bond Traders Bet On The Wrong Pony

News from the European Central Bank is not what traders needed or wanted.

Bond prices were higher early Wednesday on the rally in German bonds, but bonds did not skip a beat when U.S. stocks surged. In fact, bond prices closed at the highs of the day.

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The 10-year ended at 2.35% and the 30-year 3.02%, but bond traders ignored the stock market and everything else going on in the United States and hitched their wagons to the German market and the expectations for today’s European Central Bank meeting.

The ECB has released its decision, and it’s not what bond traders needed or wanted. The ECB is extending the buying program from March 2017 to December 2017, but will cut the program from 80 billion euros a month to 60 billion. This should not have been a huge surprise given statements by ECB president Mario Draghi over the past few months, but apparently traders had their sights fixed on a higher number.

Based on the ECB announcement, the 10-year note yield is now up to 2.40% and the 30-year is up to 3.09% as the German 10-year yield has popped higher by approximately 6 basis points.

Draghi is watching the reaction in the bond market and could say something during the ECB press conference to offset what he sees happening. Traders have always been easy prey for Draghi’s manipulations.

Read more about stock trader reaction to the ECB.

Dwight Johnston is the chief economist of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and president of Dwight Johnston Economics. He is the author of a popular commentary site and is a frequent speaker at credit union board planning sessions and industry conferences.

December 8, 2016

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