Treasury prices are slightly lower in early trading as investors await the results of the FOMC’s March meeting. Chairman Powell will hold a press conference after the meeting’s conclusion this afternoon and a new “dot-plot” and a refreshed Summary of Economic Projections will be published.
Earlier today, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that for the week ending March 12th, new Mortgage Applications fell 2.2% after sliding 1.3% the week before. Purchase Applications were up 1.8% while Refis fell 4.2%. The Average Thirty-Year fixed rate rose slightly to 3.28%.
From the Census Bureau we learned that Housing Starts plummeted by 10.3% last month against an estimate of just a 1.3% decline. January’s 6% drop was revised to 5.1%. Likewise with Building Permits, they fell by an unexpectedly large 10.8% versus an estimated drop of 7.2%.
Treasury prices were already trading lower before any of this morning’s data was released and seem little affected since. The Ten-Year is yielding around 1.67% while the Long Bond’s yield has edged up to 2.42%. The Two-Year is little changed at around 15 basis points. Crude oil is off less-than-a-dollar to $64.11 while gold is little changed at $1,731. DJIA Futures are mildly green.