TIPS are taking a hit – and yields are rising – as interest-rate hike looms

I noticed the TIP ETF – which holds a broad range of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities – dropped to $109.52 today, down 0.73% for for the day. Here are the Treasury’s estimates of today’s real yields (after inflation) for full-term TIPS versus the beginning of the month.

  • 5-year. The real yield stands at 0.49%, up 19 basis points from Dec. 1
  • 10-year. The real yield stands at 0.78%, up 20 basis points from Dec. 1.
  • 30-year. The real yield stands at 1.32%, up 18 basis points from Dec. 1.

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., we’ll get the November inflation report — the consensus estimate is for a zero increase – 0.0%, leaving inflation at about 0.2% over the last 12 months. If the actual number varies highly from 0.0%, it could upset the TIPS market. A deflationary number could stall any move by the Federal Reserve. However, we can be sure the Fed already knows what the number will be, and the Fed has been signaling toward a very small increase in short-term interest rates.

Wednesday afternoon – about 2:15 p.m. ET – we’ll hear the Fed’s decision on short-term rates.

Then, Thursday, we’ll get an auction to reopen a 5-year TIPS, CUSIP 912828K33. It’s possible that this auction will generate a yield somewhere around 0.45% – the highest yield for any 4- to 5-year TIPS in more than five years.

My schedule. I’m working both Wednesday and Thursday and I won’t be able to post much immediately after the inflation report, Fed announcement or the TIPS auction. But I will post another last preview look on the 5-year auction on Wednesday evening.

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