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BR: Fed Minutes Countdown: Treasury Yields Fall
By Johanna Bennett

U.S. Treasury yields are dropping Wednesday morning as investors wait the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, an event that is being closely watched for clues regarding the timing of the next interest rate hike.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to bond prices, fell 2.6 basis points to 2.402%, while the yield on the two-year Treasury note slipped 0.3 basis point to 1.208%. The yield on the 30-year bond dropped 3.1 basis points to 3.01%.

In the ETF realm, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond exchange-traded fund (TLT) rose 0.5% to $120.71 a share

The FOMC minutes will be released at 2 p.m. Investors will likely study it for hints about how and when the central bank plans to begin unwinding its roughly $4.5 trillion balance sheet. But much of the focus is on the timing of the next interest-rate hike, namely whether the Fed will make a move in March or wait until May or later.

If a hawkish sentiment is detected, bond prices could fall, which would push yields higher. Typically, when investors expect rates to rise, yields move higher to get inline with the expected increase in the base rate. Also, the dollar tends to appreciate as higher rates increase the returns on dollar-denominated investment assets.