U.S. Treasury yields climbed on Tuesday as markets reopened after the Labor Day holiday and investors considered what could be next for the economy following last week’s key data releases.
Yields and prices move in opposite directions. One basis point equals 0.01%.
Investors weighed the outlook for the economy and what this could mean for Federal Reserve monetary policy as recent data hinted at an economic slowdown.
Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for August showed that the unemployment rate rose to 3.8%, which marked the highest level since February 2022 and a sharp increase from July’s 3.5%. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2% on a monthly basis and 4.3% compared to a year ago, both of which were lower than previously expected.
Many investors took this as a sign that inflationary pressures could be easing and the Fed’s interest rate hikes are taking effect. Cooling the labor market has been one of the central bank’s key policy goals alongside slowing the overall economy.
The data came as uncertainty about the Fed’s monetary policy path has grown following mixed economic data, which has continued to reflect some resilience, and comments from Fed officials. This includes Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who recently suggested that interest rates may go higher still.
Markets are still expecting the central bank to leave rates unchanged at its next meeting later this month, but views about what could happen at other Fed meetings scheduled for later this year appear to be split.
No key data is slated for Tuesday.