Bond Yields Fall Slightly Amid Fed and Treasury Disagreement Over Emergency Funding

Caroline Brehman | Reuters

U.S. Treasury yields dipped on Friday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin decided to let several of the Federal Reserve's emergency funding programs expire on Dec. 31.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped slightly to 0.84%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell to 1.547%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Treasury yields slipped after Mnuchin issued a letter on Thursday that said he would not extend the Fed's programs that used Congress' CARES Act funds. This reduces the Fed's ability to support the financial system.

The Fed pushed back on Mnuchin's decision, saying: "The Federal Reserve would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy."

Mnuchin told CNBC Friday that there's still plenty of money around to provide funding where it is needed.

"This was a very simple thing. We're following the intent of Congress," Mnuchin told CNBC's Jim Cramer during a "Squawk on the Street" interview.

And sources familiar told CNBC that the Fed will still have considerable lending ability in the event of a another market shock. Either Mnuchin or a new Treasury secretary could decide to revive the emergency lending programs under a new agreement with the central bank, the people said.

The number of people filing for unemployment claims in the U.S. last week was higher than expected, according to data published by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Jobless claims totaled 742,000 for the week, ahead of the 710,000 estimates from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

There will be no auctions on Friday.

CNBC's Steve Liesman and Jeff Cox contributed to this article.

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