Global Bond Rally Endures Ahead of Jobs Data Critical for Fed

A global bond rally continued, sparked by signs the world’s biggest economy is cooling, ahead of the crucial next read on the state of the US labor market.

Treasury 10-year yields declined for a fourth-straight day after sliding 11 basis points on Monday, when a report showed US factory activity shrank in May and output came close to stagnating. US job openings data to be released at 10 a.m. New York time are expected to show hiring slowed for a second month in April, which could add to the case for a Federal Reserve interest-rate cut as soon as November.

Still, buyers remain vigilant after a selloff last week. While yields are near the highest they’ve been in months, faster-than-expected inflation data is testing the market’s conviction in just how much policymakers can lower borrowing costs this year.

Central bankers including Fed Chair Jerome Powell have repeatedly stressed the need for more evidence that inflation is on a sustained path to the 2% goal before cutting interest rates.

“US Treasuries continue to look attractive as the US economy is slowing more than others in the developed world,” strategists at Pictet Asset Management wrote in a note. Since “inflation is proving sticky,” the firm has a preference for US inflation-protected bonds which look more attractively priced.

Bonds rebound lock in higher yields

Money markets see 42 basis points of easing by year from the Fed, equivalent to one quarter-point cut and just under 70% likelihood of a second. That compares to just 30 basis points of cuts as recently as Wednesday, according to swaps. Traders Tuesday resumed fully pricing in an initial cut in November; previously, December contracts were the earliest ones to fully price in a quarter-point move.