Municipals unchanged as market awaits FOMC announcement

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Top-rated municipal bonds were unchanged at midday, according to traders, who were in a wait-and-see mode as the Federal Open Market Committee gets set to announce its decision on interest rates at 2 p.m., after the conclusion of its two-day meeting.

While most analysts expect the Federal Reserve to take no action on rates at this week’s meeting, the market will be looking for any hints as to the timing of future rate hikes and the start date for balance sheet reduction.

Secondary market
The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation was flat from 1.91% on Tuesday, while the 30-year GO yield was steady from 2.79%, according to a read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were little changed Wednesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury dipped to 1.39% from 1.40% on Tuesday, the 10-year Treasury yield was unchanged from 2.24% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was flat from 2.81%.

On Tuesday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 85.4% compared with 85.4% on Monday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 99.4% versus 98.8%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 36,891 trades on Tuesday on volume of $7.41 billion.

MMD yields on the rise
Municipal bond yields have been slowly rising since the start of the month, with the municipal 10-year gaining to 1.91% on Sept. 19, according to the MMD triple-A benchmark scale.

The 10-year was yielding 1.85% on Sept. 5, then dipped slightly to 1.81% on Sept. 7, rising to 1.86% by mid-month before hitting its high of 1.91% on Tuesday.
Primary market
There were no major bond sales on tap for the day.

On Thursday in the competitive arena, the Cherry Creek School District No. 5, Colo., is selling $178.34 million of unlimited tax general obligation bonds

The deals consist of $100 million of Series 2017C GOs and $78.34 million of Series 2017B GOs.

The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA-plus by S&P Global Ratings.

In the negotiated sector on Thursday, D.A. Davidson & Co. is expected to price the California Statewide Commission’s Series 2017A refunding revenue bonds for the California Baptist University.

Stifel is expected to price Wayne Township School Building Corp., Ind.’s $100 million of ad valorem property tax first mortgage refunding and improvement bonds.

The deal is rated AA-plus by S&P.

Bond Buyer reports 30-day visible supply
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar decreased $1.37 billion to $9.88 billion on Wednesday. The total is comprised of $5.44 billion of competitive sales and $4.44 billion of negotiated deals.

NYC MWFA announces $380M bond sale
The New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority plans to issue $380 million of tax-exempt fixed-rate bonds for institutions on Sept. 26, the authority announced Tuesday.

The underwriters will hold a one-day retail order period on Monday, Sept. 25.

The bonds will be sold through the authority’s underwriting syndicate, led by bookrunning lead manager Raymond James and joint lead manager Blaylock Van with Barclays and Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., serving as co-senior managers on the transaction.

Proceeds from the bond sale will be used to fund capital projects and refund certain of the water authority's outstanding variable-rate demand bonds.

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Primary bond market Secondary bond market Cherry Creek School District No. 5, CO California Statewide Commission New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority