Municipal bonds ended narrowly mixed on Monday, ahead of the start of the week's scheduled $6.82 billion of new issuance, traders said.

The calendar for the week consists of $5.55 billion of negotiated deals and $1.28 billion of competitive sales.

The highlight deal comes later in the week as the State of California, the No. 1 municipal issuer in terms of par amount, will add to its yearly total with $1.25 billion of taxable general obligation high speed passenger train bonds on Thursday. JPMorgan is expected to price the bonds, which are rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA-minus by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.In the competitive arena on Tuesday, the Miami-Dade County School District, Fla., is selling $250 million of Series 2017 unlimited tax general obligation bonds.

In the negotiated sector on Tuesday, Siebert Cisneros Shank is expected to price the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York’s $300 million of Series 2017A dormitory facilities revenue bonds for retail investors ahead of the institutional pricing on Wednesday. The DASNY deal is rated Aa3 by Moody’s an A-plus by Fitch.

Wells Fargo Securities is set to price the Katy Independent School District, Texas’ $257.46 million of Series 2017 unlimited tax school building bonds. The deal, which is backed by the Permanent School Fund guarantee program, is rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AA-minus by S&P/

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is set to price the Geisinger Authority, Pa.’s $240 million of Series 2017A-2 health system revenue bonds for the Geisinger Health System for retail investors ahead of the institutional pricing on Wednesday. The deal is rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by S&P.

In the competitive market Tuesday, Henrico County, Va., is competitively selling $100.65 million of Series 2017A unlimited tax GOs.

The deal is rated triple-A by Moody’s, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.

Secondary market
The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation fell one basis point to 2.07% from 2.08% on Thursday, while the 30-year GO yield was unchanged from 2.91%, according to the final read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were mixed on Monday. The yield on the two-year Treasury dropped to 1.20% from 1.21% on Thursday, while the 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.26% from 2.24%, and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond increased to 2.92% from 2.89%.

The 10-year muni to Treasury ratio was calculated at 91.6% on Monday compared to 93.3% on Thursday, while the 30-year muni to Treasury ratio stood at 100.0%, versus 101.0%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 26,734 trades on Thursday on volume of $8.17 billion.

Prior week's actively traded issues
Revenue bonds comprised 57.98% of new issuance in the week ended April 14, down from 58.13% in the previous week, according to Markit.

General obligation bonds comprised 36.53% of total issuance, up from 36.26%, while taxable bonds made up 5.49%, down from 5.61%.

Previous week's top underwriters
The top negotiated and competitive underwriters of last week included RBC Capital Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Securities, Wells Fargo Securities and Citigroup, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In the week of April 9 to April 15, RBC underwrote $1.18 billion, BAML $765.4 million, JPMorgan $762.7million, Wells Fargo $658.6 million and Citi $266.6 million.


Muni Bond CUSIP Requests Rose 14% in March
Demand for new municipal bond CUSIP identifiers rose 14% in March after gaining 13% in February, CUSIP Global Services said on Monday. The report tracks requests by issuers for bond identifiers as an early indicator of new volume.

A total of 1,066 new municipal bond identifier requests were made last month, up from 933 in February and 826 in January.

On a year-over-year basis, however, municipal bond request volume was down almost 19% through the end of March.

“Following a significant slowdown in CUSIP demand toward the tail end of 2016 and first few weeks of 2017, the turnaround we’ve seen over the past two months has been significant,” Gerard Faulkner, Director of Operations for CUSIP Global Services, said in a press release. “Clearly … municipal issuers are seeing an opportunity in the current marketplace to issue new securities.”

Including both long- and short-term note and other municipals categories, there were a total of 1,280 CUSIP requests in March, up from February’s 1,100.

For the first quarter 2017 total municipal security CUSIP orders were 3,373, down 14% from first quarter 2016 results when 3,935 were sought.

“The CUSIP indicator has become a sentiment indicator, continually taking the pulse of new security issuers as they weigh the potential impact of geopolitical and economic uncertainty on the markets,” said Richard Peterson, Senior Director, S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Based on the volume of CUSIP requests that we’re currently seeing, the marketplace still sees a window of opportunity in the first half of 2017.”

Lipper: Muni bond funds report inflows
Investors in municipal bond funds once again reversed course and put cash back into the funds in the latest week, according to Lipper data released late on Thursday.

The weekly reporters saw $1.63 billion of inflows in the week ended April 12, after outflows of $287.201 million in the previous week.

The four-week moving average was still in the green at positive $444.756 million, after being positive at $8.313 million in the previous week. A moving average is an analytical tool used to smooth out price changes by filtering out fluctuations.

Long-term muni bond funds also had inflows, gaining $1.09 billion in the latest week after falling $166.361 million in the previous week. Intermediate-term funds had inflows of $505.697 million after outflows of $79.763 million in the prior week.

National funds had inflows of $1.699 billion after outflows of $135.789 million in the previous week. High-yield muni funds reported inflows of $604.105 million in the latest reporting week, after inflows of $68.334 million the previous week.

Exchange traded funds saw inflows of $113.902 million, after inflows of $81.089 million in the previous week.

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Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. Barnett is currently Senior Market Reporter for The Bond Buyer.