After positive reception on Illinois general obligation bonds Tuesday, the municipal bond market happily received Pennsylvania GOs Wednesday.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch won the bid for $950 million of Pennsylvania GOs at a true interest cost of 2.90%. Yields ranged from 0.17% with a 1% coupon in 2014 to 3.34% with a 4% coupon in 2033. The bonds are callable at par in 2023, and are rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, AA by Standard & Poor’s, and AA-plus by Fitch Ratings.
“Pennsylvania did well and there is more depth today than anytime over the last week,” a Pennsylvania trader said.
A New York trader said spreads came in tighter than where the bonds were trading earlier in the week in the secondary market. “There is a strong number on Pennsylvania compared to where it was trading. There are definitely buyers out there.”
“The issue was attractively priced,” said analysts at Markit, adding that 10-year 5% coupon Pennsylvania GOs were evaluated at 25 basis points over the internal benchmark and the new issue came in at 15 basis points over.
Other traders said reception felt more lukewarm. “Overall it was well received,” a second Pennsylvania trader said. “People weren’t shying away from it but people weren’t jumping all over themselves to buy it.”
The competitive deal buoyed Pennsylvania bonds in the secondary market as well. In odd-lot trading, bonds from an interdealer trade of Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission 5.25s of 2030 yielded 3.62%, three basis points lower than where the bonds traded Tuesday.
In another odd-lot trade, a dealer sold to a customer Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority 5s of 2021 at 1.52%, 18 basis points lower than where the bonds were sold Tuesday.
Outside Pennsylvania, other larger negotiated deals started to price in the primary.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced $201.5 million of Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority revenue bonds, rated A2 by Moody’s and A by Fitch. Yields ranged from 1.00% with a 3% coupon in 2016 to 4.24% with a 5% coupon in 2048. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Barclays priced $182.5 million of WPPI Energy power supply system revenue bonds, rated A1 by Moody’s, A by Standard & Poor’s, and A-plus by Fitch. Yields ranged from 0.54% with a 3% coupon in 2015 to 4.05% with a 4% coupon and 3.65% with a 5% coupon in a split 2037 maturity. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
JPMorgan priced for retail $138 million of Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency single family mortgage revenue bonds in two series, rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s.
Bonds in the first series, $128 million subject to the alternative minimum tax, were priced at par with a 0.95% coupon in 2015 to 4.35% coupon in 2035. Credits maturing in 2014 were offered via sealed bid. Bonds maturing in 2028 and 2033 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2022.
The second series of $10 million not subject to the alternative minimum tax were priced at par with a 4.15% coupon in 2043. Bonds maturing in 2038 were not offered for retail. The credits are callable at par in 2022.
In the secondary market, trades compiled by data provider Markit showed firming.
Yields on Florida State Board of Education 5s of 2019 plunged five basis points to 1.22% and Ector County, Texas, Independent School District 5s of 2029 dropped three basis points to 2.70%.
Yields on Massachusetts State Water Resources Authority 5.25 of 2029 fell three basis points to 3.07% and California’s Golden State Tobacco Securitization Corp. 4.5s of 2027 slid two basis points to 4.87%.
Yields on New York 5s of 2037 and New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority 3.75s of 2038 fell two basis points each to 3.35% and 3.78%, respectively.
Yields on Hawaii 5s of 2019 and University of California 5s of 2022 dropped two basis points each to 1.36% and 1.98%, respectively.
Municipal bond scales ended as much as three basis points firmer Wednesday in a mixed week so far. Munis posted gains Monday and were weaker Tuesday.
Yields on the Municipal Market Data triple-A GO scale ended as much as three basis points lower. The 10-year yield fell three basis points to 1.86% and the 30-year yield slid two basis points to 3.07%. The two-year finished flat at 0.31% for the 31st consecutive session.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors 5% coupon triple-A benchmark scale also ended as much as three basis points lower. The 10-year yield dropped three basis points to 1.92% and the 30-year yield fell two basis points to 3.17%. The two-year held at 0.33% for the 26th session.
Treasuries posted strong gains Wednesday. The benchmark 10-year yield and the 30-year yield plunged six basis points each to 1.81% and 3.05%, respectively. The two-year yield fell two basis points to 0.23%.
Looking back at March, median yields and credits spreads rose, reversing an eight-month trend and increasing from the 12-month low set in February, according to BondDesk Group. “Despite the increase in yields and spreads, trade volume and buy-to-sell ratio remained unchanged,” analysts said. “Trade volume is close to where it was for the first two months of 2013, and the buy-to-sell ratio remains close to the 12-month low that was set in December.”