The tax-exempt market continued to weaken Thursday afternoon, though traders said they were starting to feel more positive about the market.
"It almost feels like it's bounced back up a little," a Chicago trader said. "I know there are cuts in prices but I'm feeling better about it."
This trader said $1.7 million of triple-A rated Maryland general obligation bonds maturing in 2017 traded five basis points through the Municipal Market Data scale.
"We are not as negative. We are seeing business at these levels and at least getting bids on stuff."
In the primary, Citi priced $212.5 million of Kentucky Asset Liability Commission bonds for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service, AA by Standard & Poor's, and A-plus by Fitch Ratings.
Yields ranged from 1.54% with 2% and 5% coupons in a split 2017 maturity to 4.04% with 4% and 5.25% coupons in a split 2025 maturity. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
JPMorgan priced $99.4 million of Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges at Oklahoma State University. The bonds are rated AA-minus by Standard & Poor's, and AA by Fitch.
Yields on the first series, $19.4 million of general revenue refunding bonds, ranged from 0.25% with a 2% coupon in 2014 to 4.63% with a 4.5% coupon in 2033. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Yields on the second series, $80 million of general revenue bonds, ranged from 0.25% with a 2% coupon in 2014 to 4.98% with a 4.875% coupon and 4.91% with a 5% coupon in a split 2043 maturity. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Wednesday, yields on the Municipal Market Data scale ended as much as eight basis points higher. The 10-year yield increased four basis points to 2.76% and the 30-year yield rose eight basis points to 4.31%. The two-year finished steady at 0.43% for the sixth consecutive session.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors scale ended as much as seven basis points higher. The 10-year yield increased four basis points to 2.94% and the 30-year yield rose seven basis points to 4.38%. The two-year yield increased one basis point to 0.54%.
Treasuries were mostly weaker. The benchmark 10-year and 30-year yields rose one basis point each to 2.60% and 3.66%, respectively. The two-year yield fell one basis point to 0.35%.