The municipal market was slightly firmer Friday amid light secondary trading. Traders said tax-exempt yields were lower by about two or three basis points.
“We’re seeing some gains,” a trader in New York said. “There isn’t a whole lot of activity in the secondary, but there is noticeable firmness. I’d say we’re better about two or so basis points.”
“It’s a bit firmer, but there’s not a whole lot going on,” a trader in Los Angeles said. “It’s pretty much a typical Friday, but we’re probably a basis point or so better on the whole.”
The Treasury market showed gains Friday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note opened at 3.74% and was quoted near the end of the session at 3.66%. The yield on the two-year note opened at 0.91% and was quoted near the end of the session at 0.88%. The yield on the 30-year bond was quoted near the end of the session at 4.57% after opening at 4.62%.
Friday’s Municipal Market Data triple-A scale yielded 3.03% in 10 years and 3.76% in 20 years, nearly matching levels of 3.04% and 3.76%, respectively, Thursday. The scale yielded 4.08% in 30 years Friday, following Thursday’s level of 4.09%.
As of Thursday’s close, the triple-A muni scale in 10 years was at 80.6% of comparable Treasuries and 30-year munis were 87.2% of comparable Treasuries, according to MMD, while 30-year tax-exempt triple-A general obligation bonds were at 91.5% of the comparable London Interbank Offered Rate.
Trades reported by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Friday showed some gains. Bonds from an interdealer trade of New York State 5s of 2022 yielded 3.97%, down two basis points from where they traded Thursday. Bonds from an interdealer trade of taxable Chicago 6.21s of 2032 yielded 6.02%, one basis point lower than where they were sold Thursday.
A dealer sold to a customer California 5s of 2022 at 4.57%, one basis point lower than where they were sold Thursday. Bonds from an interdealer trade of insured Illinois Finance Authority 5.5s of 2040 yielded 5.53%, down one basis point lower than where they traded Thursday.
In economic data released Friday, the consumer price index increased 0.1% in December.
Core prices, excluding food and energy costs, also increased 0.1% in December, in line with economists’ estimates.
November consumer prices rose 0.4%. The core CPI was unchanged in November.
Economists expected consumer prices to rise 0.2% and for core prices to rise 0.1%, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed “conditions for New York manufacturers improved for the sixth consecutive month in January,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Friday reported, as the general business conditions index surged to 15.92 in the month from a revised 4.50 in December.
Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index would be 12.00.
Industrial production in the nation was up 0.6% in December while capacity utilization rose to 72.0%.
The rise in production level followed a 0.6% increase the previous month, while December capacity use was revised up to 71.5 from 71.3.
Thomson Reuters had forecast a 0.6% increase for production, and a 71.8% level for capacity utilization.
The University of Michigan’s final December consumer sentiment index reading was 72.8, compared to the final December reading of 72.5.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 73.8 reading for the index.
Activity in the new-issue market was light Friday.