Bond markets were only modestly weaker in the overnight session (unlike yesterday where a majority of the day’s weakness was seen overnight), but began losing ground shortly thereafter. Weakness came in volatile spurts within a range that’s still relatively narrow in the bigger picture.
The first noticeable bout of weakness emerged at the 930am NYSE open with stocks/yields/yen all moving higher together (aka a “risk-on” move), but was given pause by a massive drop in oil prices following the 1030am oil inventory data. The resulting mini-rally in bonds was unable to break back through the morning’s best levels and it was all uphill from there.
Intelligence officials were testifying on foreign surveillance in the Senate today. Senators of course asked questions about whether Trump had urged officials to intervene in the probe regarding potential Russian influence of the US presidential election. Officials were unified in saying a few things, with the 2 most common refrains being that they weren’t pressured by the president, and that weren’t going to comment on specifics.
Long story short, senators were frustrated, and nothing scandalous came to light. Bond markets didn’t much care for that and promptly moved to the day’s weakest levels. After a brief recovery, Comey’s prepared remarks (for his testimony tomorrow) hit the wires. They didn’t contain any revelations. As such, bonds returned to the weakest levels of the day.
All of the above means that we’ve essentially been sideways in “the gap” for the past 4 days. This keeps the risks of a bigger bounce very much alive heading into tomorrow’s series of big-ticket events (ECB Announcement, Comey testimony, and UK election).