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From the Floor: China effectively denies US Treasuries story

  • • China effectively denies Bloomberg report of cutback in US treasury purchases
  • • Denial only partly reverses spike in US treasury yields
  • • Gold had also jumped on the China/treasuries news
  • • Underlying support for gold remains, but gold could struggle: Hansen
  • • Oil market awaits news on whether Trump will continue to waive Iran sanctions
By John Acher

Chinese regulators quashed a Bloomberg story that said China would slow down or halt its purchases of US treasuries -- a story that on Wednesday had knocked long-dated treasuries and boosted 10-year bond yields and rival safe-haven gold.

"China effectively denies the Bloomberg story, saying it is 'fake news'," says Saxo Bank's head of FX strategy John J Hardy. "This [news] had US treasuries well supported." (Read also Hardy's latest FX Update here on TradingFloor.)

The news of the denial partly reversed a spike in US 10-year treasury yields.

“The news could quote the wrong source of information, or may be fake news,” China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement, according to Reuters.

It has been something of a wild week for rates and currencies because a breakout in US yields was already under way earlier this week before the China story hit, propelling yields even higher, and then came the denial, says Hardy.

News of the denial only partly reversed a spike in US 10-year treasury yields, with the benchmark yield clinging above 2.5%.

Gold seesaws

The story about China losing its appetite for US treasuries had also spurred gold higher, on expectations that the Chinese government could need to diversify into the precious metal, but that prospect, too, was dashed.

"It did create quite a lot of stir in the metal markets, especially gold," says Saxo Bank's commodities strategy chief Ole Hansen. "But since then gold has calmed down a bit."

Underlying support for gold remains in an area of $1,291 to $1,300/oz, but gold could struggle to proceed without a proper correction, Hansen says.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices got a boost from Wednesday's EIA report, which showed a drop in both stocks and  production last week. 

“The [oil] market is settling down a bit, waiting for the next big news for the energy market,” says Hansen, adding that the next blast of news could come as soon as Friday, which is US President Donald Trump's deadline for deciding whether to continue to waive the sanctions against Iran that were lifted after the July 2015 nuclear agreement.

"We never know what Trump decides," Hansen says. "If they do reintroduce sanctions, it could have a bullish impact on oil."

Brent crude oil is chasing the 2015 high at $69.60/barrel, while WTI crude is holding above the 2015 high and taking aim at $66.90/b, Hansen says.

Chinese dragon
 Changes in China's appetite for US treasuries have 
potential to move markets. Photo: Shutterstock

John Acher is a consulting editor at Trading Floor.

ContraTrades ContraTrades
Highest time to stop listening those fabricated narratives.


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