Financial markets hate the lack of clarity about the guardians of monetary and financial order that are central banks, especially the US Federal Reserve (Fed). Jerome Powell, chairman of the Fed, refrained from any comment Thursday evening on the level of sovereign bonds. Long rates have doubled in the United States in six months. The 10-year US Treasury bond yield is now trading at 1.62%, down from 0.5% on August 4. The boss of the Fed was satisfied to affirm that the road would be “still long” before it modifies its monetary policy. His passive attitude did not please investors seeking reassurance. “Financial markets are testing the Fed’s willingness to continue injecting liquidity,” says Arthur Jurus, chief economist at Landolt & Cie.
US labor market figures, released on Friday, accelerated the rise in interest rates. In fact, 379,000 jobs were created in February, much more than the 200,000 expected by economists. The statistics for January have also been revised upwards, to 166,000 instead of the 49,000 initially announced.