The Federal Reserve increased the sizes of both its overnight and term repurchase agreement operations to smooth out potential volatility in the funding markets at the end of the month, with signs of pressure already emerging.
The New York Fed will offer at least $120 billion of financing at its overnight repo operation as of Thursday, up from $75 billion, according to its website.
It will offer at least $45 billion at its 14-day term actions on Oct. 24 and Oct. 29, which is $10 billion more than previously. The increased size of the term operations will cover the Oct. 10 offering that matures Thursday as there is about $42.6 billion rolling off.
Repo for the end of October is already elevated. The market for month-end on Wednesday showed funding rates spiking to around 2.20%, according to Stone & McCarthy. With an expected Fed rate cut next week, that would be above the central bank’s likely new target range.
“It makes perfect sense as they’re hoping not to use any special large term repo operations in order to deal with month-end,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior rates strategist at TD Securities. “Their modus operandi has been to smooth out some of the maturities in term repo, which is why they made it more regular.”
The central bank has been injecting liquidity into the funding markets since Sept. 17, when the rate on overnight general collateral repo jumped to 10% from around 2%. The Fed has also begun buying Treasury bills to add reserves into the system. These efforts have mostly calmed repo rates.
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