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Governmental issuers of municipal bonds will continue under scrutiny as long as unemployment remains above 8% and the soft housing market continues. This focus is warranted due to concerns over muni bond price declines for issuers struggling with economic recovery.
Authored by James Colby
Both Wednesday (3/28) and Thursday (3/29), municipal prices regained lost ground, especially in the intermediate part of the curve. Why? 1) New issue supply fell by nearly 50% week over week; 2) Bernanke's testimony implied more Fed stimulus to support employment; and 3) Data showed no meaningful improvement in the housing sector.
After suffering under the recent pressure of significant new-issue supply, the muni market recovered its footing and ended this week with a positive finish. Demand is being driven by arbitrageurs ("arbs"), who are attracted to the intermediate part of the yield curve, where the ratio of high-grade muni to Treasury yields is above 110%. Near term, muni new-issue supply is expected to ebb somewhat, which should help to support prices heading into the Easter/Passover break.
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Please note that MUNI NATIONs written by Jim Colby represent his opinions and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Current market conditions may not continue. Non-Van Eck Global proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Van Eck Global. © 2014 Van Eck Securities Corporation. MUNI NATION is a trademark of Van Eck Associates Corporation.
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