MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 04/24/2020

The Treasury yield curve underwent a “twist” last week, as shorter maturity yields rose modestly while yields on longer Treasuries declined.  The 10-year yield ended the week at 0.60%, lower by about 4 basis points, while yields on 2- through 5-year notes rose between 1.5 and 2 bps.  The 10-year appears to be settling into a trading range of around 0.50-0.80%, while its 60-day standard deviation is also stabilizing at a little over 12 bps per day, and should start declining as the very volatile March sessions start to roll off.


*The MBS Weekly Market Profile Report corresponds to the commentary below.*

MBS levels and spreads also began to stabilize last week.  The 30-year Fannie current coupon spread over Treasuries narrowed by about 2 basis points, while the Ginnie spread widened by 8 basis points.  There were, however, some noteworthy developments in the space.  The Fed ramped down their purchases of MBS to a daily average of $9.2 billion versus the previous week’s $13.6, and is scheduled to further reduced their purchases this week to somewhere between $7-8.5 billion per day.  For a slightly different perspective, the table below shows the Fed’s weekly purchases by product and coupon since the end of February, reported from Thursday through the following Wednesday. (For example, the top row shows purchases for the period between 4/16-4/22.)  Despite the reduced Fed support, the sector performed reasonably well; UM30 2.5s tracked the 10-year note last week, duration-adjusted, although 3.5s had a rough week, cumulatively trailing 10s by about a quarter point.  Click to enlarge Dollar rolls closed out the week mostly muted, with the exception of the GNII 2.5 May/June roll, which (at over 8+) is about 4+ ticks special.  Both the conventional and government coupon stacks had some noteworthy changes.  All liquid Ginnie II coupons (2.5s through 4s) ended the week with the same 105 handle, while the UM30 3.5/3 swap ended the week at 2/32s, while the 4/3.5 swap closed at 1 point.  (This also reflected the weak performance of conventional 3.5s noted above.)  The accompanying chart highlights how cheap the 3.5/3 swap is relative to the 10-year Treasury yield, and how poorly it has performed over the last week or so.  (UM30 3.5s’ front roll is trading at -2/32s, a sign of raging prepayment fears, but in fairness the UM 4 roll is also negative.) Click to enlarge One other noteworthy development was the sharp pickup in UM30 2% trading activity.  As shown in the accompanying chart, daily trading activity in 2s ramped up from virtually zero at the beginning of the month to around $13 billion last Friday, where it comprised over 10% of total conventional volumes.  If this represents continued (if reluctant) acceptance of the coupon, it has very important implications for the loan market.  When the lowest TBA coupon traded is UM30 2.5s, that means that the lowest rate that lenders will offer on conventional conforming loans (virtually all of which are securitized) is generally 2.75%; since 25 basis points of servicing needs to be held, a lower note rate is basically an orphan and can’t be securitized.  If, however, UM30 2s start to be viewed as a liquid coupon, then loans with lower rates can be originated and securitized.  This won’t dramatically impact the “average” level of mortgage rates which, depending on who you talk to, is between 3.33% and 3.45%.  It will, however, open up lenders’ rates sheets to showing pricing and offering lower note rates, which could eventually pressure the overall levels of lending rates lower. Click to enlarge



About the Author: Bill Berliner

As Director of Analytics, Bill Berliner is tasked with developing new products and services, enhancing existing solutions, and helping to expand MCT’s footprint as the preeminent industry-leader in secondary marketing capabilities for lenders.

Mr. Berliner boasts more than 30 years of experience in a variety of areas within secondary marketing. He is a seasoned financial professional with extensive knowledge working with fixed income trading and structuring, research and analysis, risk management, and esoteric asset valuation.

Mr. Berliner has also written extensively on mortgages, MBS, and the capital markets. He is the co-author, with Frank Fabozzi and Anand Bhattacharya, of Mortgage-Backed Securities: Products, Structuring, and Analytical Techniques, which was named one of the top ten finance texts in 2007 by RiskBooks. He wrote and edited chapters for The Handbook of Mortgage-Backed Securities, The Handbook of Fixed-Income Securities, Securities Finance, and The Encyclopedia of Financial Models. In addition, Mr. Berliner co-authored papers published in The Journal of Structured Finance and American Securitization. He also wrote the monthly “In My View” column for Asset Securitization Report from 2008-2012.

10-Year Treasury Yield Curve

Compare this chart with the mortgage rates chart to see how the 10-year treasury and mortgage rates are correlated. Read more below to learn how mortgage rates are tied to the 10 year treasury yield. View raw data on U.S. Department of the Treasury website.


Mortgage Rates Today

The current MBS daily rates are shown below in this chart for 5/1 Yr ARM, Jumbo 30 Yr, FHA 30 Yr, 15 Yr Fixed, 30 Yr Fixed. Sign up for our MBS Market Commentary to receive daily mortgage news in your inbox.

About the Author

Robbie Chrisman, Head of Content, MCT

Robbie started his mortgage industry career with internships during high school and college at Peoples National Bank in Colorado, and RPM & Bay Equity in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Finance in 2014, he went to work at SoFi, where he rose to Director, Capital Markets assisting in the creation of SoFi’s residential mortgage division before leaving to work for TMS in Austin, Texas. From there, he went to work for FinTech startup Riivos in San Francisco and now is the Head of Content at Mortgage Capital Trading (MCT) in San Diego.

 Join Newsletter or Follow MCT on Social Media:

Previous Weekly Market Reviews by Mortgage Capital Trading (MCT)

Sign up for daily mbs market commentary and review previous commentaries by visiting our commentary category page. Join our email list for further MBS market news, subscribe to receive educational articles, whitepapers, relevant updates, and mortgage market commentary. 

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 3/31/23

The market reaction went a little “too far, too fast” in regard to the Fed policy pivot. We witnessed the coupon stack (i.e., the price spread between TBA coupons) decompress in more than a trivial manner in a short period. However, the primary mortgage market has been largely reluctant to follow the Treasury rally, and mortgage rates have ultimately not dropped by the same amount as Treasury yields.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 3/24/23

The FOMC raised its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a new range of 4.75%-5.00% on Wednesday, a middle ground policy move made in the hope of tampering inflation without further harming the banking system. The raise marks the 9th consecutive rate hike since the Fed began hiking in May of last year and brings the target fed funds rate range to the highest level since September 2007. While the central bank’s monetary policy has been aimed at correcting inflation, it has also revealed hidden weaknesses (e.g., entities whose balance sheets relied on low interest rates).

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 3/17/23

Next week will reveal the Fed’s resolve on continuing to beat the drum on their aggressive inflation fight. The word until now has been that the central bank will keep hiking interest rates until inflation is under control.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 3/10/23

Events this week likely will lead to a higher peak interest rate than investors had been expecting just weeks ago. Central bankers appear worried about a cycle in which workers seek higher pay to offset inflation’s bite, and in turn trigger more price increases. In fact, inflation remains high because people have jobs and earn enough income to cover stubbornly expensive housing costs. Robust hiring is good for the economy and workers, but elevated pay growth puts added pressure on the Fed to bring down earnings. 

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 2/10/23

The week after the jobs report is generally pretty data-light, and this week was no exception. With a dearth of data, market movement hinged on “Fed speak” and consumer sentiment. We saw some volatility return to bond markets as investors built in expectations for a more hawkish Fed. As a reminder, the Fed raised its benchmark rate last week to a range of 4.5% to 4.75%. Let’s run through what we’ve learned in the wake of that decision and a robust U.S. payrolls report that took some wind out of investors’ sails that had hopes for rate cuts by summer.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 2/3/23

As strong as economists may have thought the job market was, it’s even stronger. In addition to headline non-farm payrolls in January (517,000) beating estimates by around 300,000, employment numbers were revised higher for the past two months. Yes, a tight labor market is anathema to any sort of quick stop to the Federal Reserve’s rate hiking cycle, but the growth rate in average hourly earnings is declining, which will be welcome news to Fed Chair Powell and his colleagues. There exists a raging debate among economists over whether we’ll need a sharp rise in unemployment to keep inflation low.