10-year Treasury yield falls below 0.8% after Fed’s emergency move to cut rates to zero

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Treasury yields fell on Monday after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near zero and vowed to boost its bond holdings aggressively to save the U.S. economy from the coronavirus fallout.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped 18 basis points to 0.76%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell 13 basis points to 1.38%. Bond yields move inversely with prices.

In a bid to mitigate slow economic growth resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Fed on Sunday announced a 100-basis point interest rate cut, taking rates basically down to zero, their lowest since 2015. The central bank also unleashed a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program.

Still, yields’ plunge following the Fed’s surprise announcement was less dramatic than many had thought.

“To some extent the rate cut and eventual return to QE were anticipated,” Ian Lyngen, BMO’s head of U.S. rates, said in a note Monday. “For the time being there is an underlying reluctance to press longer rates lower given the experience of last week… investors prefer to hold cash and very front-end securities.”

The emergency move still triggered more selling in stocks as many viewed it as the Fed’s last roll of the dice.

Meanwhile, cases in the U.S. and around the world continue to escalate. Confirmed cases stateside now sit at 3,774, with 69 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, and New York City is now limiting restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery services.

Auctions will be held Monday for $42 billion of 13-week Treasury bills and $36 billion of 26-week bills.