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The high-frequency impact of news on long-term yields and forward rates: Is it real?

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  • Meredith J. Beechey
  • Jonathan H. Wright

Abstract

This paper uses high-frequency intradaily data to estimate the effects of macroeconomic news announcements on yields and forward rates on nominal and index-linked bonds, and on inflation compensation. To our knowledge, it is the first study in the macro announcements literature to use intradaily real yield data, which allow us to parse the effects of news announcements on real rates and inflation compensation far more precisely than we can using daily data. Long-term nominal yields and forward rates are very sensitive to macroeconomic news announcements. We find that inflation compensation is sensitive to announcements about price indices and monetary policy. However, for news announcements about real economic activity, such as nonfarm payrolls, the vast majority of the sensitivity is concentrated in real rates. Accordingly, we conclude that most of the sizeable impact of news about real economic activity on the nominal term structure of interest rates represents changes in expected future real short-term interest rates and/or real risk premia rather than changes in expected future inflation and/or inflation risk premia. This suggests that explanations for the puzzling sensitivity of long-term nominal rates need to look beyond just inflation expectations and toward models that encompass uncertainty about the long-run real rate of interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Meredith J. Beechey & Jonathan H. Wright, 2008. "The high-frequency impact of news on long-term yields and forward rates: Is it real?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2008-39
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    Keywords

    Interest rates; Stocks - Rate of return;

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