U.S. Treasury to cut auction sizes in coming quarter

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday it would cut its coupon issuance across all maturities in the coming quarter, with the largest cuts coming in the seven-year and 20-year maturities.

The Treasury said it is cutting issuance as the current auction sizes would result in excess borrowing over the intermediate term. The U.S. government had increased auction sizes in 2020 to pay for COVID-19 related spending.

Seven-year notes and 20-year bond auctions will see relatively larger reductions, which the Treasury said is due to “Treasury’s desire to better balance structural supply and demand at those tenors.”

“These tenors were increased significantly more than others in response to the increased borrowing needs driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduction of supply at these tenors has also been a focus of feedback from a variety of market participants,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The Treasury said it expects to cut the size of 2-, 3- and 5-year note auctions by $2 billion each per month over the coming quarter, while 7-year auctions will be cut by $3 billion per month in the same period.

New and reopened 10-year note and 30-year bond auctions will also be reduced by $2 billion, while the 20-year bond auctions will be cut by $4 billion. The 2-year floating-rate note auction will also be likely cut by $2 billion in January. In total, the cuts are expected to reduce issuance by $84 billion in the November to January quarter.

The Treasury said it will sell $56 billion in three-year notes, $39 billion in 10-year notes and $25 billion in 30-year bonds next week.

The Treasury said on Monday it plans to borrow $1.015 trillion in the fourth quarter, more than the August estimate of $703 billion, due to having a lower balance at the beginning of the quarter.

(Reporting By Karen Brettell; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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