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TREASURIES-U.S. yields little changed as inflation remains key topic

·3 min read
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NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields remained little changed on Tuesday as strong consumer demand as seen in Walmart and Home Depot results was insufficient to push market participants into the camp that disavows the Federal Reserve's views on inflation. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was up 0.5 basis point to 1.654% as the longer-dated government debt edged slightly higher but the short end remained mostly unchanged. On the margin there are concerns about inflation, said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. The break-even rates fall very much in line with the Fed's transitory phrasing on inflation, he said. "Forward breakevens are lower than spot breakevens, suggesting the market thinks inflation is going to rise then fall," he said. Market participants were waiting for the release on Wednesday of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting in April, but nothing material was expected, LeBas said. "It's unlikely that we're going to get material changes out of the FOMC minutes," he said. Walmart Inc raised its full-year earnings forecast after shoppers armed with government stimulus checks ventured back into stores and Home Depot Inc reported a bigger-than-expected 31% jump in quarterly same-store sales. While the strong results were driven by pent-up demand, the longer-term impact on inflation from increased consumer spending is still unknown. U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in April as a Commerce Department report showed housing starts tumbled 9.5%. The Treasury was set later to auction $34 billion in 52-week notes. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up 1.3 basis points to 2.368%. The break-even rate on five-year U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) was last at 2.735%, after closing at 2.717% on Monday, near its highest close in just over a decade. The 10-year TIPS break-even rate was last at 2.557%, indicating the market sees inflation averaging 2.5% a year for the next decade. May 18 Tuesday 10:57AM New York / 1457 GMT Price Current Net Yield % Change (bps) Three-month bills 0.015 0.0152 0.000 Six-month bills 0.03 0.0304 -0.003 Two-year note 99-242/256 0.1531 0.000 Three-year note 99-192/256 0.3341 0.000 Five-year note 99-160/256 0.8275 -0.002 Seven-year note 99-184/256 1.2924 0.002 10-year note 99-208/256 1.6454 0.005 20-year bond 93-136/256 2.2838 0.022 30-year bond 100-32/256 2.3691 0.014 DOLLAR SWAP SPREADS Last (bps) Net Change (bps) U.S. 2-year dollar swap 9.75 -0.25 spread U.S. 3-year dollar swap 11.00 -0.25 spread U.S. 5-year dollar swap 8.00 0.25 spread U.S. 10-year dollar swap -4.00 0.50 spread U.S. 30-year dollar swap -32.00 0.25 spread (Reporting by Herbert Lash; editing by Jonathan Oatis)