Markets & Finance

Treasuries Finish Higher


Irrepressible Treasuries finished the week much as they began, on a high note. Stocks continued to grieve for the lost innocence of their CEOs, with questions raised about drug kingpin Merck's reporting practices and an IBM downgrade by Lehman, both of which off-set brighter news from Qualcomm. Triple witching settlement may have added to the heaviness on Wall St.

There were no data or events to intrude on the 'stock trade' by Treasuries, which was leavened with a pinch of technical influence as well. Gains by Treasury futures appeared to outpace those of cash, but mainly played catch-up to late equity losses and cash gains on Thursday. The September bond closed up 26/32 at 104-04 after reversing higher from session lows of 103-12, while the cash bond closed only 13/32 higher at 99-223.

The yield curve was mostly indifferent, with the 2s-30s spread closing unchanged at +256/257 basis points. The belly of the curve did outperform after HP managed to successfully priced its $1.5 bln 2-tranche offering of 5s and 10s. The weak dollar reinforced the stock ailments, with the traded-weighted dollar dipping below 108 to fresh 17-month lows. Oil prices slipped after Venezuela apparently vowed to increase output to shore up its domestic finances.


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