The yield on the 2-year Treasury note fell sharply on Friday as the shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank sparked a flight to safer assets such as government bonds.
The yield shed 46 basis points in the past two days, a sudden decline not seen since September 2008, when the financial markets were in the throes of the global financial crisis. Perhaps by no coincidence, the flight to bond safety this week was caused by the biggest bank failure since the financial crisis.
Earlier in the week, the yield on the 2-year Treasury note traded above the key 5% level. It last traded 30 basis points lower at 4.593%.
Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year note yield fell nearly 22 basis points to 3.708%. Yields and prices move in opposite directions and one basis point equals 0.01%.
Regulators shuttered Silicon Valley Bank on Friday. Shares had tumbled more than 60% on Thursday as the bank sought to raise more than $2 billion in capital to offset losses from bond sales. Prior to the shutdown, shares were down almost 63% premarket.
CNBC’s David Faber earlier reported that the bank was in talks to sell itself after attempts to raise capital failed, citing sources familiar with the matter. Rapid deposits outflows, however, reportedly outpaced the sale process, complicating the ability to realistically assess the bank.
The news led to another day of losses for the broader stock market, and traders searched for safety as turmoil hit the regional banking sector.
In other news, nonfarm payrolls data for February rose more than expected, but the wage growth grew less than expected and unemployment ticked higher, adding credence to the argument that the job market was cooling a bit despite the better-than-expected payrolls number.
The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates in an effort to cool the economy, including the labor market, and ease inflation.
The data comes as investors consider the Fed’s next interest rate policy moves. Many are expecting the central bank to increase the pace of rate hikes again and announce a 50 basis point increase at its next meeting later this month.