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Money markets us bill rates fall as supply matures


* About $48 bln T-bills said to be repaid Thursday* Overnight repo rates fall in line with T-bill rates* U.S. to sell $30 bln 3-month bills, $28 bln 6-month billsBy Richard LeongNEW YORK, April 19 Interest rates on U.S. Treasury bills fell on Thursday as a large amount of the notes were set to mature, spurring short-term investors to scoop up the remaining supply in the open market. Treasury bill rates due on Thursday through early June were down 0.3 to 2.2 basis points in late trading.

About $48 billion of T-bills are expected to be paid down by the Treasury Department on Thursday, according to analysts. With more cash in hand and fewer Treasury bills available, investors sought to park more money in repurchase agreements and federal funds. This helped to drive down the interest rates on these short-term loans, analysts and traders said.

However, the decline in T-bill supply was mitigated by the Federal Reserve's $400 billion "Operation Twist" program, in which the central bank sells its short-dated Treasury holdings and buys longer-dated debt issues in an effort to hold long-term interest rates."The drop in T-bill supply has not been quite as large as it could have been, and even then supply is still supported by Operation Twist and regular issuance," said Tom Sapio, head of repo sales and trading at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York. This means T-bill and repo rates could fall a few more basis points, particularly toward to the end of the quarter, but any further drop in rates "shouldn't be quite as extreme as in certain periods in recent years," Sapio said.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department said it will sell $30 billion in three-month bills and $28 billion in six-month bills next Monday, matching the amounts sold earlier this week. In March, the Treasury began paring its weekly issuance during its annual period of personal income tax collection. At that time, it was selling $33 billion in three-month bills and $31 billion in six-month bills on a weekly basis. Overnight repo rates fell in tandem with lower T-bill rates. They slipped to about 0.13 percent mid-market, down from 0.17 percent late on Wednesday.

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Money markets us nov t bill rates fall on tentative us debt deal


(Updates market action, adds quote, byline)By Richard LeongNEW YORK Oct 27 Interest rates on U.S. Treasury bills due in November slipped into negative territory on Tuesday as investor demand returned in the wake of a tentative deal on a two-year U.S. budget deal and an extension of the federal debt ceiling. Interest rates on T-bills due in 2016, however, rose on the day in anticipation the Treasury Department will ramp up supplies to compensate for the reduction it had embarked on since September, analysts said. Analysts estimated the Treasury could sell $100 billion to $150 billion in additional T-bills in the coming weeks to replenish its coffer, if the deal is approved. Moreover, some investors likely reduced their T-bill holdings to hedge against the possibility the Federal Reserve might signal it may still raise interest rates by year-end.

Fed policy-makers are scheduled to issue their latest policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday. Investors had worried repayments of T-bills that mature in the coming weeks would be delayed if the government borrowing capacity was not increased.

T-bill rates into year-end slipped into negative territory in early Tuesday trading before December rates returned above zero, according to Tradeweb."The bills maturing around the debt limit dates were considered cheap. With the reports of a possible debt ceiling extension, rates got back in line with the nearby maturities," said Alex Roever, head of U.S. interest rate strategy at J. P. Morgan Securities in New York. Traders hope Congress will approve the increase in the borrowing limit before Nov. 3, the date after which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the government would no longer issue more debt.

Analysts forecast the Treasury would run out of cash in mid-November without an increase of its legal $18.1 trillion debt limit. Interest rates on T-bills due Nov. 5 were last quoted at 0.0150 to 0.0250 percent, down 3 basis points from late on Monday. They fell as low as -0.005 to 0.005 percent. Those due Nov. 12 were last quoted at 0.0100 to 0.0200 percent, down nearly 4 basis points on the day, according to Tradeweb. T-bill rates in December were up 0.5 to 1.5 basis points from late on Monday.

Money markets us rates futures slip after fed officials remarks


(Add details on market action)NEW YORK Nov 18 U.S. interest rates futures were steady to lower on Wednesday as remarks from several top Federal Reserve officials reinforced the notion the U.S. central bank would raise interest rates at its next policy meeting in December. Rates futures implied traders see a 72 percent chance of a rate liftoff in December, compared with 64 percent on Tuesday, according to CME Group's FedWatch program."I am now reasonably satisfied the situation has settled down ... So I am comfortable with moving off zero soon, conditioned on no marked deterioration in economic conditions," Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told a conference of bankers, traders and regulators in New York. The pace of rate hikes will likely be "relatively gradual or shallow," Lockhart said.

Rates futures suggested traders see a 60 percent likelihood the Fed would increase rates again at its June 2016 meeting, compared with 54 percent on Tuesday. Cleveland Fed chief Loretta Mester said the U.S. economy could handle a modest rate hike, while New York Fed President William Dudley said he doesn't expect a "huge surprise" or a big market reaction when the Fed begins raising rates. Mester and Dudley spoke at the same event as Lockhart.

Bets on a rate hike in December have increased the borrowing cost for dollars. The London interbank offered rate for three-month dollars rose for an eighth straight session to 0.36960 percent, up 0.25 basis point from Tuesday and the highest since September 2012.

Libor is a benchmark rate for $350 trillion worth of products worldwide. In the currency market, the interest rate spread on a three-month swap contract to exchange euro-denominated payments for dollar-pegged payments grew for a third day to its widest since July 2012. Banks and hedge funds use these products for currency bets, while U.S. companies use them to hedge non-dollar-denominated bonds. The cost premium, measured by the three-month dollar Libor over the three-month rate on euros , was quoted about minus 50 basis points versus minus 47 basis points on Tuesday, according to ICAP.

Press digest australian business news feb 17


Compiled for Reuters by Media Monitors. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (this site)The emergence of competing market operators and the burden of technology investments will force small brokers to either merge or close down operations, Australian Securities Exchange chief executive Elmer Funke Kuppe said yesterday. "The new market structure puts enormous pressure on the smaller brokers  In order to compete in this world they need to make serious investment in technology and resources and you need to be able to recover the higher compliance costs that come with added complexity," Mr Funke Kupper said. Page 39.- - - - Food manufacturer Goodman Fielder suffered a 77 percent fall in its first-half profits, leading chief executive Chris Delaney to join calls for the appointment of an industry ombudsman as the challenging Australian grocery market forced the company to cancel its interim dividend. "The proposal that's been put forward by the Australian Food and Grocery Council to make sure there are fair trading practices in our industry is a smart one and we do have to recognise there are retailers with significant concentration here," Mr Delaney said. Page 40.- - - - The resources division of diversified retailer Wesfarmers has come under pressure from softening coal prices, managing director Richard Goyder said yesterday. "Export coal prices have come off a bit and there is downward pressure of those prices at the moment," Mr Goyder said. The coal division of Wesfarmers recorded a flat earnings for the half-year of A$250 million. Page 41.- - - - Rail operator QR National could sell part of its existing operations or use its existing cash to buy some of the shares currently owned by the Queensland government. Confirming that they would be interested in the government's remaining 34 percent stake, QR National chief executive Lance Hockridge said they "would consider a wide range of options" and they were "actively engaged" in maintaining a healthy balance sheet. Page 42.- - - - THE AUSTRALIAN (this site)Westpac Banking Corporation chief executive Gail Kelly and her team of executives had already decided to raise interest rates before the Reserve Bank of Australia left rates on hold last week. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group were the first to raise their interest rates, citing higher funding costs as the rationale, but Westpac followed shortly after. "We were expecting the ANZ to make an announcement  but we were prepared on the same day to make our own decision in an environment where we thought it was necessary to take a leadership position to indicate that this was an industry issue," Ms Kelly said. Page 19.- - - -

The chief financial officer for Westpac Banking Corporation, Phil Coffey, said that dividend payouts in the banking sector would be vulnerable if the higher costs of funding were not offset by a rise in interest rates. "It goes back to what is the marginal return on a new loan  if it isn't profitable then overall profitability will decline  the banks overall have done a good job to get the balance right and maintain dividends," Mr Coffey said yesterday. Page 19.- - - - The largest private employer in Australia, diversified retailer Wesfarmers, has bucked the trend in the jobs market and revealed it would look to increase its staff levels as it expands its retail operations. "My hope would be that on a net basis we will increase employment here at Wesfarmers  to expand our retail networks, we'll employ more people," Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said. Page 19.- - - - Plans to overhaul struggling surfwear retailer Billabong International in response to its current low share price and an impending strategic review of its capital structure are under threat from private equity. With United States-based TPG lining up a A$765 million bid for the group and reports of another interest party, believed to be Pacific Equity Partners, also circling, observers believe chief executive of Billabong, Gordon Merchant, is fighting off the attempts to acquire the company. Page 19.- - - -

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (this site)In his first speech as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Philip Lowe yesterday said that despite the difficulty of perceiving the impact on a daily basis there was "a chain that links the investment boom in the Pilbara and in Queensland to the increase in spending at cafes and restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney". The high Australian dollar was damaging manufacturing, tourism and education but the net effect was difficult to ascertain and the RBA would be "carefully examining every piece of data that comes in for insight," Mr Lowe added. Page B1.- - - - Petroleum company Caltex wiped A$1.5 billion off the combined value of its Kurnell refinery in Sydney and Lytton refinery in Brisbane with the future of both operations uncertain. The decision could lead to the loss of 1500 jobs with Caltex looking to focus on marketing and distribution channels that have enjoyed solid growth rather than the under-pressure refining business. Page B3.- - - - Legislation on restricted no-go zones that would prevent mining on agricultural land in New South Wales and Queensland would have "unintended consequences" according to Whitehaven Coal managing director Tony Haggarty. A A$5.5 billion project between Whitehaven and Nathan Tinkler's Aston Resources at the Sienna coal prospect in Queensland could be affected by the strategic laws protecting cropping land. "It's not clear where that legislation is going to end up  we're certainly not assuming it rules out that development," Mr Haggarty said. Page B6 .- - - -

The number of people reading magazines and newspapers declined in the second half of 2011 but media conglomerate Fairfax Media attempted to highlight the broader audience reach across online and print platforms via a new audience measurement. "These are the numbers that matter  when it comes to printed newspaper product, it's readership data that genuinely count, and these latest figures show Fairfax Metro Media mastheads eclipsing our competition across our key target markets," Fairfax Metro Media chief executive Jack Matthews said. Page B8.- - - - THE AGE (this site)By saying they were to blame for their own low margins Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder restarted the verbal war with food manufacturers, defending the conglomerates continued profitability on the grounds that Coles had reinvigorated the market and therefore volumes for suppliers. A long standing lack of investment by grocery manufacturers in their own brands was to blame, Mr Goyder said, rubbishing any suggestion that an industry ombudsman was needed. "The call from the Australian Food and Grocery Council for an ombudsman is frankly a joke," Mr Goyder said. Page B1.- - - - Qantas has revealed a cost-cutting drive that will reduce spending by A$700 million by consolidating its maintenance and catering operations. The airline also confirmed it would cut 500 jobs as progress on an ultra-premium airline in south-east Asia stalls. Speaking about the joint-venture with Malaysia Airlines, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was reserved on this strategy for turning around its international operations. "There are a lot of other factors that come into it and I can guarantee that they are all being considered, along with the capital requirement on this," Mr Joyce said. Page B3.- - - - The A$14.6 billion acquisition of rival AXA Asia Pacific had not lost its sense in light of the financial crisis in Europe, chief executive of wealth management group AMP, Craig Dunn, said yesterday. "Getting an opportunity to merge with AXA - that doesn't come along very often," Mr Dunn said in assessing the bringing together of the two wealth management groups. Page B4.- - - - After a three year investigation into Kleenmaid directors Andrew and Bradley Young and co-director Gary Armstrong, the trial into the insolvent whitegoods company was going to be a "long, arduous, drawn out procedure" according to the Young's barrister John Rivett. Charged with over 20 counts of fraud relating to the A$100 million collapse of Kleenmaid, the Youngs "did everything in their power to try and save it from this situation  they are suffering too  they've both gone bankrupt  they're both having to work for a living," Mr Rivett stated outside the court. Page B6.- - - -