Former Fed Vice Chairman Expects One or Two More Rate Hikes: Bond Market Direction Still Uncertain?

As investors closely monitor the movements in the bond market, the expectations surrounding the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions continue to shape market sentiment. In recent developments, former Fed Vice Chairman Clarida’s remarks have sparked discussions about potential rate hikes and their impact on bond yields. This article will explore the implications of Clarida’s comments and provide trading recommendations based on the prevailing market conditions.

Market Volatility Amid Rate Hike Speculations

On Tuesday, the U.S. bond yields experienced mixed performances across various maturities. Despite the general anticipation that the Fed will refrain from raising rates in the upcoming June meeting, a mid-day speech by former Fed Vice Chairman Clarida, which carried a hawkish tone, led to a rally in U.S. bond yields during the session.

Analyzing the market data, it is evident that overnight U.S. bond yield volatility remained relatively modest. Specifically, the 2-year U.S. bond yield increased by 0.1 basis points to 4.477%, the 5-year U.S. bond yield declined by 1.4 basis points to 3.81%, the 10-year U.S. bond yield dropped by 2.3 basis points to 3.666%, and the 30-year U.S. bond yield fell by 4.2 basis points to 3.846%.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, observed that the market is in a state of uncertainty due to the lack of clarity regarding the extent of the Fed’s tightening measures. Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial, noted that investors are preparing for the upcoming Fed policy meeting and expect the market to avoid significant volatility.

Clarida’s Insights and Market Expectations

Since the Fed entered a period of silence before the June rate meeting, there has been a relative scarcity of fundamental news at the central bank level. Nevertheless, the recent speech by former Fed Vice Chairman Clarida has captured the attention of many market participants.

Clarida, who currently serves as the managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), stated in an interview that economic data has been strengthening as the Fed prepares to meet next week. He believes that the current cycle may witness one or two additional rate hikes.

Currently, the interest rate futures market assigns a 77% probability that the Fed will pause its rate hikes in the upcoming meeting, with expectations of a resumption in rate hikes at the July meeting.

In his speech, Clarida also tempered the expectation of a rate cut later this year, expressing that the threshold for such an action remains high. He suggested that a rate cut might not occur until 2024.

Similarly, Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, shared his view that the Fed may indicate further rate hikes in the future during the June meeting. Hatzius expects another 25 basis points rate increase, potentially reaching a peak target of 5.25%-5.5%, with the most likely timing being July.

Additionally, Deutsche Bank analyzed historical data and identified certain conditions that precede rate cuts by the Fed. These conditions include core CPI below 3% and unemployment rates above 5%. The bank highlighted that recent U.S. economic data has been stronger than anticipated since the last Fed meeting.

Bond Market Outlook and Trading Recommendations

As the bond market grapples with uncertainties regarding the Fed’s interest rate decisions, the direction of bond yields remains uncertain. Traders and investors can consider the following recommendations based on different scenarios:

  1. If the belief is that the Fed will initiate rate cuts later this year or shortly, it may be advantageous to buy long-term U.S. bonds. Rate cuts typically push bond prices higher, resulting in lower yields. Traders can implement this strategy by trading Contracts for Differences (CFDs) on 10-year or 30-year U.S. bonds.
  2. Conversely, if there is an expectation that the Fed will continue to raise rates or that inflationary pressures will persist, selling long-term U.S. bonds might be a prudent move. Rate hikes or increasing inflation tends to drive down bond prices and increase yields. Traders can execute this strategy by trading CFDs on 10-year or 30-year U.S. bonds.
  3. In cases where the Fed’s policy path or economic growth and inflation outlook appears uncertain, traders can exploit the yield differential between different maturity U.S. bonds. This strategy involves arbitraging by buying 2-year U.S. bonds and selling 10-year U.S. bonds, betting on a flattening yield curve. Alternatively, traders can buy 10-year bonds and sell 30-year bonds, speculating on a steepening yield curve. CFDs with varying bond maturities facilitate the implementation of this strategy.


The opinions and information provided in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute investment advice or recommendations. Investors should conduct their own research and evaluation of markets, securities, and other investment instruments before making any investment decisions. The consequences of any investment decision based on the information provided are solely the responsibility of the investor. We do not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses resulting from the use of or reliance on the information provided.

Please note that investing involves risk and may not be suitable for everyone. Investors should carefully consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation before making investment decisions.