Prices drop as FOMC dampens quantitative easing hopes

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 03, 2012 3:04 PM
Prices drop as FOMC dampens quantitative easing hopes

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries prices fell on Tuesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's March policy meeting showed policymakers appeared less keen to launch a fresh round of monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy improves.

They noted recent signs of slightly stronger growth but remained cautious about a broad pick-up in U.S. economic activity, focusing heavily on a still-elevated jobless rate. That led Treasuries to erase early price gains.

"It seems the market is really disappointed," said Charles Comiskey, head of Treasuries trading at the Bank of Nova Scotia in New York. "I guess they were expecting more emphasis on the possibility of QE3 going forward."

Markets had taken fresh hope that a new round of easing was likely after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week the modest pace of U.S. growth was unlikely to cut unemployment quickly and that further stimulus would remain an option.

Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 22/32 in price to yield 2.27 percent, up from around 2.18 percent before the minutes were released.

Thirty-year bonds fell a full point in price to yield 3.40 percent, up from 3.32 percent before the minutes' release.

(Editing by Dan Grebler)