The tax-exempt market ended on a strong note Wednesday for the third session this week as traders said the primary market was well received.
Demand in the muni market outweighed supply in the new issue market, despite this week’s volume coming in as one of the largest so far in 2013.
In the morning session, one trader noted the market felt quieter than Tuesday, but still strong.
“It’s opening quiet but it is firm again,” a Chicago trader said, adding that all eyes are on the primary so far this week.
And by afternoon, the market was digesting new deals.
“The market is stronger today by about two basis points,” a New York trader said, adding that the New York City general obligation deal pricing for institutions is going well. He noted that retail order periods — including last week’s New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority deal and Wednesday’s Regents of the University of California deal — are all seeing very good reception.
“It really has to be that people are starved for paper,” this trader said. “These deals all have retail order periods and to see three deals come within a week-and-a-half and deals all do well is good news.”
He continued that retail remains focused on the primary while the institutional market has turned to the secondary. “There is definitely retail interest in these deals. Retail only carries about the new issues, but not the secondary.”
In the primary market, JPMorgan priced for retail $1.3 billion of Regents of the University of California general revenue bonds, rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, AA by Standard & Poor’s, and AA-plus by Fitch Ratings. Pricing details were not available by press time.
Morgan Stanley priced and repriced $838.4 million of NYC GOs, following a two-day retail order period Monday and Tuesday. The bonds are rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Yields on the first series of $500 million, ranged from 0.35% with a 3% coupon in 2015 to 3.561% with a 3.5% coupon and 3.45% with a 4% coupon in a split 2038 maturity. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Yields were cut as much as seven basis points inside 2025 from retail pricing, and lowered a few basis points from preliminary pricing, but were increased as much as three basis points on maturities outside 2027.
Yields on the second series of $26.9 million, ranged from 0.16% with a 2% coupon in 2013 to 2.03% with a 5% coupon in 2022. Yields were lowered as much as five basis points from preliminary pricing.
Yields in the third series of $223.1 million, ranged from 0.23% with a 2.5% coupon in 2014 to 3.391% with a 3.375% coupon in 2034. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were lowered as much as nine basis points on maturities inside 2025 from retail pricing but were increased as much as two basis points on the 2027 and 2029 maturities.
Bonds in the fourth series of $10.1 million yielded 2.03% with a 5% coupon in 2022. Yields were lowered five basis points from preliminary pricing.
Bonds in the fifth series of $17.5 million yielded 1.08% with a 5% coupon in 2018.
Yields on the sixth series of $60.8 million, ranged from 0.35% with a 3% coupon in 2015 to 2.38% with a 5% coupon in 2024. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were lowered as much as four basis points from preliminary pricing.
JPMorgan priced $273.1 million of University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority revenue bonds, rated Aa3 by Moody’s and A-plus by Standard & Poor’s.
Yields ranged from 0.33% with a 3% coupon in 2014 to 4.07% with a 4% coupon in 2043. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
In the competitive market, JPMorgan won the bid for $100 million of New York City GOs, rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by Standard & Poor’s. Prices were not yet available.
In the secondary market, trades compiled by data provider Markit showed firming.
Yields on Minnesota State General Fund 5s of 2023 and Milwaukee County Airport 5.25s of 2025 fell three basis points each to 2.02% and 1.93%, respectively.
Yields on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 5.25s of 2022 and Monroeville, Pa., Finance Authority 5s of 2023 fell two basis points each to 1.84% and 2.53%, respectively.
Yields on the University of North Carolina in Raleigh 5s of 2042 dropped two basis points to 3.03% while Washington 3s of 2030 fell one basis point to 3.31%.
Municipal bond market scales finished stronger Wednesday.
Yields on the Municipal Market Data triple-A GO scale ended as much as three basis points lower. The 10-year yield fell two basis points to 1.81% while the 30-year yield dropped one basis point to 2.91%. The two-year closed at 0.31% for the seventh straight session.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors 5% coupon triple-A benchmark scale closed as much as one basis point lower. The 10-year and the 30-year yield fell one basis point each to 1.83% and 2.99%, respectively. The two-year was steady at 0.33% for the second session.
After a stronger session through most of the day, Treasuries sold off in the afternoon and ended weaker. The benchmark 10-year yield and the 30-year yield jumped three basis points each to 1.91% and 3.11%, respectively. The two-year was steady at 0.25%.