The tax-exempt market continued its route of steady to weaker trading as focus turned to the primary.
"It was a little busy earlier," a New York trader said. "But it has calmed down since and is trading steady."
He added that salesmen are working the new issues and the secondary is taking a backseat.
So far this week, munis have traded softer in each session as the primary market hasn't been able to spur much activity. "The market was stable to slightly weaker, but outperformed the Treasury market," wrote Dan Toboja, vice president at Ziegler Capital Markets. "The new issue balances on some deals continue hanging around, although there were fewer trades at down levels on those new deals."
In the primary market Wednesday, Goldman, Sachs & Co. priced for retail $237.5 million of Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency tax-exempt revenue bonds for the Capital Cost Recovery Prepayment Program. Institutional pricing and the taxable series is expected to price Thursday. The bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's.
Yields ranged from 0.32% with a 1% coupon in 2014 to 3.10% with a 4% coupon in 2034. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Credits maturing between 2025 and 2027 and between 2029 and 2033 were not offered for retail.
Raymond James is expected to price $150 million of Maine Health and Educational Facilities Authority Eastern Maine Medical Center bonds, rated Baa1 by Moody's and BBB by Standard & Poor's.
In the competitive market, Citi won the bid for $325.6 million of North Carolina general obligation bonds. Prices were not available by press time.
Reads on the municipal bond market showed softening for the second session this week.
The Municipal Market Data scale ended lower for the fourth consecutive session. The 10-year yield rose one basis point to 1.80% while the 30-year yield increased two basis points to 2.84%. The two-year finished steady at 0.34%.
The Municipal Market Advisors 5% coupon triple-A benchmark scale also showed weakening. The 10-year yield and the 30-year yield rose one basis point each to 1.82% and 2.92%, respectively. The two-year held steady at 0.35%.
Treasuries continued to post losses Wednesday. The benchmark 10-year yield rose two basis points to 2.02% while the 30-year yield increased four basis points to 3.21%. The two-year was steady at 0.29%.
In economic news, the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to release a statement of its monetary policy following its two-day meeting.