Treasury yields should fall, but will demand be an issue?
Main U.S. equity indexes now all up on day: Nasdaq up ~1.1%
Cons disc leads S&P 500 sector gainers; materials weakest group
STOXX 600 index up ~0.4%
Dollar, crude, bitcoin rise; gold down
U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield edges up to ~3.48%
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TREASURY YIELDS SHOULD FALL, BUT WILL DEMAND BE AN ISSUE? (1030 EST/1530 GMT)
U.S. Treasury yields look set to fall this year as inflation moderates and the Federal Reserve reaches the end of its tightening cycle, but reduced demand for U.S. government debt could also limit further yield declines, according to Capital Economics.
“We forecast the 10-year Treasury yield to decline between now and the end of the year, as inflation eases further and the Fed transitions to monetary loosening,” Thomas Matthews, senior markets economist said in a report. However, “a key risk to this projection, in our view, is the weak outlook for demand for Treasuries.”
Yield differentials between U.S. and foreign debt have shrunk and the costs of currency hedging is high, which may make U.S. debt less attractive to investors in other major developed markets such as the euro-zone and Japan. Current account surpluses in Europe and Japan have also shrunk, which means they have fewer excess savings to invest in Treasuries.
Energy exporters who have been running large current account surpluses are likely to be a less significant source of demand for U.S. debt as they diversify their portfolios. Meanwhile, stronger Asian currencies as China reopens means that central banks in the region are likely to stop selling Treasuries, but are not expected to return to large-scale purchases any time soon.
“That leaves domestic investors to pick up the slack,” Matthews said. “This year and next will, in our view, see increasing pressure on domestic banks, insurers, pension and investment funds as the primary source of Treasury demand, at a time when the central bank is set to continue to run down its holdings.”
The benchmark 10-year yield US10YT=RR has declined to 3.487% from a 15-year peak of 4.338% on Oct. 21, on expectations that the U.S. central bank will pivot to a looser monetary policy, and on concerns that the U.S. economy is facing a slowdown.
Matthews expects that the 10-year Treasury yield has only limited declines left, and is likely to reach 3.25% by year-end and 3.00% by the end of 2024.
U.S. STOCKS DIGEST DATA, CHOP AROUND (1012 EST/1512 GMT)
Wall Street's main indexes are mixed early on Thursday after data released at 0830 EST showed a resilient labor market and better-than-expected economic growth last quarter that helped ease worries of a deep recession, while Tesla's bullish outlook added to the cheer.
December new home sales released at 1000 EST came in roughly in-line with the Reuters poll.
With this, the tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC is posting the biggest rise. It is up nearly 1%. The S&P 500 .SPX is up slightly, while the DJI .DJI is edging lower.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq, which is on track for a fourth-straight weekly rise, nearly touched its descending 200-day moving average, which now resides around 11,516. The index hit a high of 11,494.636 before quickly backing off to the 11,400 area.
Here is a snapshot of where market stood shortly after 1000 EST:
THE FUTURE MIGHT BE BLUE (0901 EST/1401 GMT)
The primary way to move low-carbon hydrogen from production sources to market is going to be ammonia, as hydrogen is expensive to transport, given its low energy density and difficulty in liquefaction, says HSBC.
One way to make low-carbon hydrogen is to build green hydrogen projects, powered by renewable energy, while another way to achieve it would be - to make ammonia from natural gas and then capture the carbon emissions, which is ‘blue’ ammonia.
While conventional ammonia production emits carbon dioxide(CO2) if it is made with fossil fuel, during the production of blue ammonia any CO2 generated is captured and stored.
The high-return, capital-light route to monetizing gas via the hydrogen market is the reason behind the strong interest that Middle Eastern oil companies Saudi Aramco 2222.SE and QatarEnergy have in blue ammonia projects.
Last year, QatarEnergy said it will build the world's largest "blue" ammonia plant, which is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2026 and to produce 1.2 million tons per year. Aramco has plans to produce 11 million tons of blue ammonia by 2030, says the brokerage.
With integration into natural gas, QatarEnergy and Aramco do not take the risk of gas price volatility and thus have broad control over their production costs.
Also, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the U.S. improves the country's project economics, with companies receiving increased credits compared to earlier for CO2 capture.
"If blue ammonia were priced off the potential ‘pricing umbrella’ offered by green hydrogen (zero carbon emissions), then the returns on blue ammonia projects could potentially be exceptional, given capital costs that are a fraction of those for green hydrogen," says HSBC.
S&P 500 INDEX POISED TO PUSH HIGHER AFTER DATA DELUGE (0845 EST/1345 GMT)
In the wake of Thursday's 0830 EST U.S. data deluge, e-mini S&P 500 futures EScv1 are gaining about 0.6%. This compares to a rise of about 0.5% just prior to the economic numbers coming out.
Action is choppy, but if this holds, the S&P 500 index .SPX, which ended Wednesday around 4,016, appears poised to open around 20 points higher. If so, it can once again attempt to overwhelm an important chart hurdle:
With such an opening pop, the SPX can battle above the 233-day moving average, which ended Wednesday at about 4,024. This Fibonacci-based moving average has capped strength on a closing basis since April 20.
Monday's high was at 4,039.31. The early-to-mid-December highs were at 4,100.51-4,100.96, and the mid-September high was at 4,119.28.
Meanwhile, continued gains can see the spread between the 50- and 200-DMAs narrow further. The spread ended Wednesday at just -22.23 points, or its tightest reading since March 15. If the 50-DMA can cross above the 200-DMA, it can signal a "golden cross," suggesting the potential for a major advance.
The 50- and 200-DMAs should come in around 3,939 and 3,959 on Thursday.
FOR THURSDAY'S LIVE MARKETS' POSTS PRIOR TO 0845 EST/1345 GMT - CLICK HERE
(Terence Gabriel is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)</body></html>
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