Mohamed El-Erian said Federal Reserve officials are promoting the idea that they’re preparing to raise interest rates, as a global bond market rally comes to a halt.
Officials “continue to talk up” an increase, El-Erian, the chief economic adviser at Allianz SE and a Bloomberg View columnist, wrote on Twitter Sunday.
John Williams, president of the Fed Bank of San Francisco, said Sunday on Fox News the U.S. economy should be solid enough to merit raising interest rates in 2016. Eric Rosengren, head of the Boston Fed, said the U.S. is near the threshold for a move, the Financial Times reported Sunday. Rosengren votes on the policy committee this year, while Williams does not.
A rally that sent global yields to a record has come to an end as investors prepare for the Fed to act as soon as its next meeting June 14-15. The average yield on the bonds in Bank of America Corp.’s Global Broad Market Index has climbed to 1.35 percent from the all-time low of 1.27 percent set May 11.
“The Fed is ready to increase the policy rate,” said Yoshiyuki Suzuki, the head of fixed income in Tokyo at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co., which has $59.4 billion in assets. “They will move in June or July. Treasury yields should go up.”
Benchmark U.S. Treasuries were little changed Monday, with the 10-year yield at 1.84 percent as of 6:45 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The price of the 1.625 percent security due in May 2026 was 98 2/32. The yield will be 2 percent or more by year-end, Suzuki said.
When to Raise
Fed Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart and San Francisco’s Williams both said last week at least two increases may be warranted this year. Most central bank policy makers said in April an interest-rate increase would be appropriate in June if the economy continued to improve, but they were divided over whether those conditions were likely to be met in time, based on the minutes of the session issued last week.
Fed officials are moving too quickly because inflation is still too low, said Gary Dugan, the chief investment office for wealth management at Emirates NBD PJSC, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates with $414.5 billion in assets.
The annual change in the Commerce Department’s price index tied to personal spending, one of the measures the Fed uses to gauge inflation, has been below the central bank’s 2 percent target for four years.
“They do seem to be single-minded about raising interest rates, and they seem to have gotten themselves into a bit of a frenzy,” Dugan said in an interview in Singapore. “It’d be a huge risk” to the economy if policy makers act.
Ten-year yields may fall toward 1.6 percent this year, he said. “If we get 10-year yields up anywhere close to 2 percent, I think they’re a steal.”
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