US Treasury yields rise slightly as Fed indicates further rate hikes

  • U.S. government debt yields ticked higher after the release of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes.
  • “Participants generally anticipated that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate would most likely be consistent with a sustained economic expansion,” the minutes read.

U.S. government debt yieldsticked higher after the release of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes, which showed officials believe the central bank should continue to increase interest rates to ensure a stable economy.

A synopsis of the Federal Open Market Committee's September session revealed both confidence in the rate of economic growth as well as some concern over the impact tariffs might have on GDP.

"With regard to the outlook for monetary policy beyond this meeting, participants generally anticipated that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate would most likely be consistent with a sustained economic expansion, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near 2 percent over the medium term," the minutes read.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note note was up slightly at 3.197 percent at 4:08 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was higher at 3.364 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

"I still see this as a Fed that's going to want to keep going and want to take policy to neutral territory, wherever that means," said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. short rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. " To me this doesn't really change the picture that much."

Fed policymakers debated the central bank's best path forward, with some members arguing that it is possible there could be a period where the central bank goes beyond normalization of rates and into a more restrictive stance.

The recent economic data helped the Fed's policymaking arm defend its third quarter-point increase to the federal funds rate in September. The central bank also upped its anticipation for economic growth this year to 3.1 percent, citing manageable inflation and an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.

The Fed and markets both anticipate a fourth rate hike in December.

Symbol
Yield
 
Change
%Change
US 3-MO
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US 1-YR
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US 2-YR
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US 5-YR
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US 10-YR
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US 30-YR
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In the Bureau of Labor Statistics's most recent report on the employment situation, the unemployment rate in the U.S. dropped to 3.7 percent, a level not seen in nearly 50 years. Closely-watched average hourly earnings rose 8 cents — or 0.3 percent — over the month, matching August's gain.

The hot job reports may also portend acceleration in wage growth, which could be a worry for the Federal Reserve trying to keep a lid on inflation.

Meanwhile, the number of openings hit a series high of 7.1 million on the last business day of August, the government said Tuesday, adding to the existing belief that the U.S. labor market is at one of its tightest points in a generation.

— CNBC's Jeff Cox and Patti Domm contributed reporting.