The Fed Is Girding for Repo Trouble Monday Even as Market Calms
(Bloomberg) — The repo market has calmed down, but the Federal Reserve is gearing up its safeguards in case turmoil resurfaces on Monday.
Last week’s craziness was not the first time in recent memory that U.S. money markets have shown signs of stress. It’s tended to happen around quarter-end, most notably in late December.
The third quarter ends Monday. So, for the past two days, the New York Fed has run $100 billion overnight repo operations — bigger than the $75 billion daily liquidity injections that began early last week — plus separate 14-day operations. Neither of Friday’s actions were fully subscribed and short-term lending rates are well below the peak seen last week, a sign order has been restored for now.
But on Monday, that larger $100 billion size will be repeated and the overnight operation will run from 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. New York time, earlier than prior morning actions. Both signal the Fed is girding for rates to spike again.
As of now, it appears that the New York Fed “was able to satiate primary dealer demand for term funding at these rate levels,” Jon Hill, a strategist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note. “The question then becomes how much of the reserve infusion will be able to permeate through markets and reach other participants.”
Hill said that while there may still be upward pressure on short-term rates on Monday, it may be more muted than some are fearing.
Trading in repurchase agreements suggests rates are coming down. The overnight rate for quarter-end is being quoted at approximately 2.85%, down from about 3.25% around 9 a.m. Friday, according to traders familiar with the transactions who asked to not be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly. But that’s far above the current level of around 1.88%, according to ICAP (LON:) data.
The overnight repo rate soared to a record high of 10% last week amid a funding crunch that drew scrutiny to the size of the Fed’s balance sheet and fueled calls for the central bank to start injecting liquidity.
The central bank responded to the funding pressures, which appeared to be building around quarter-end, with three term operations this week and a daily schedule of overnight actions through Oct. 10.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.