While no major policy changes are expected at the meeting, investors will pay close attention to Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments for further insight into the bank’s thinking on inflation and bond purchases.
Expectations of higher growth and inflation generated by a vast fiscal stimulus package in the United States have pushed up safe-haven government bond yields this year.
The Fed has committed to continue its $120 billion a month of government bond purchases until “substantial further progress” is made in an economic recovery from the pandemic, but recent strong data has investors looking for any signs that the Fed may start talking about tapering the buying.
U.S. 10-year yields continued to rise on Wednesday, touching their highest in nearly two weeks at 1.647%, adding to a 5 basis point rise on Tuesday.
Germany’s 10-year yields, which are closely correlated with Treasuries, rose in tandem, to its highest in over a week in early Wednesday trade at -0.224%, and was up nearly 3 basis points by 0706 GMT.
Italy’s 10-year bond yield rose broke another seven-month high at 0.851%.
Jens Peter Sorensen, chief analyst at Danske Bank, said the negative open to the European bond market was expected, given Treasury yields mostly rose following the European close on Tuesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall.
“The upward move in US Treasury yields is driven by the expectations for a more upbeat Federal Reserve committee as well as the solid rise in the consumer confidence,” Sorensen said, referring to U.S. data for April that jumped to a 14-month high on Tuesday.
In contrast, German consumer morale deteriorated unexpectedly heading into May, given rising COVID-19 infections and a re-tightening of restrictions in many areas of Europe’s largest economy.
In the primary market, Germany will raise 2.5 billion euros from the re-opening of a 15-year bond and the Netherlands will raise up to 2.5 billion euros from re-opening a five-year bond. (Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)