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Bond Markets Unchanged After Morning Data, Putin Parliament Speech
Posted to: Micro News
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 9:39 AM

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Treasuries began the overnight session holding steady before moving on to lower yields with the help of weak economic data in Germany and slumping stocks in Asia.  The positivity carried 10yr yields to session lows by 7am when Putin began addressing Parliament on Crimea. 

No sooner had Putin said "there will be three equal languages in Crimea; Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar," and that relations with "brotherly Ukrainian people will always be of crucial importance to Russia" than bond markets quickly gave back all their gains.

The speech went on to assert the legitimacy of the referendum and generally did more to soothe tensions than to incite further drama, despite a bit of tough talk aimed at US sanctions.  Even then, Putin was clear in saying he would never seek to spark confrontation with the West.

The morning continues to be more about those headlines than the tepid domestic economic data.  Housing Starts numbers were very close to consensus, but did support the 'bouncing back from the weather' theme. CPI was a non-event as usual, but here are the details:

Consumer Price Index

  • CPI +0.1 vs +0.1 forecast (both for 'headline' and 'Core')
  • Year-over-year Core CPI +1.6 vs +1.6 forecast

Housing Starts

  • 907k Annual Rate vs 910k forecast (-0.2 vs -11.2 pct previously)
  • Building Permits 1018k unit rate vs 960k forecast
  • Single Family Permits were down 1.8 pct while multi-family were up 24.3 pct.

Neither Treasuries or MBS have done much since the data came out.  Both continue to hover near unchanged levels, right in line with yesterday's weakest.

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Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 3.67%
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  • 15 Yr FRM 2.95%
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.62%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 108-28 (0-00)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 110-17 (-0-04)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 111-30 (0-02)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps 10.03%
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  • Refinance Index 11.33%
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  • Purchase Index 8.43%