YIELDS on the central bank’s term deposits dropped on Wednesday as both tenors were oversubscribed on expectations of a rate pause this week.

The term deposit facility (TDF) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) fetched bids amounting to P434.066 billion on Wednesday, well above the P300-billion offering but a tad lower than P446.698 billion for a P340-billion offer seen a week ago.

Broken down, tenders for the seven-day papers reached P263.423 billion, higher than the P180 billion auctioned off by the central bank and the P248.137 billion in bids for a P200-billion offering seen the previous week.

Banks asked for yields ranging from 6.3% to 6.515%, lower than the 6.33% to 6.575% band seen a week ago. This caused the average rate of the one-week deposits to decrease by 6.15 basis points (bps) to 6.4576% from 6.5191% previously.

Meanwhile, bids for the 14-day term deposits amounted to P170.643 billion, beyond the P120-billion offering but failing to beat the P198.561 billion in tenders for a P140-billion offer seen on Sept. 13.

Accepted rates for the tenor were from 6.3275% to 6.525%, also lower than the 6.34% to 6.58% margin seen a week ago. With this, the average rate for the two-week deposits fell by 3.64 bps to 6.4863% from 6.5227% logged in the prior auction.

The BSP bank has not auctioned 28-day term deposits for more than two years to give way to its weekly offerings of securities with the same tenor.

The term deposits and the 28-day bills are used by the BSP to mop up excess liquidity in the financial system and to better guide market rates.

Term deposit yields went down ahead of the widely expected pause from both the US Federal Reserve and the BSP at their meetings this week, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

The US Federal Reserve was set to announce overnight its policy decision after a two-day meeting.

The Fed hiked borrowing costs by 25 bps at its July meeting, bringing its target rate to 5.25-5.5%, the highest level in 22 years.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Board will hold its own review on Thursday, where it is likely to keep rates steady for a fourth straight meeting, according to 14 of 17 analysts in a BusinessWorld poll last week.

Mr. Ricafort said headline inflation could fall within the 2-4% target by the fourth quarter or in the first quarter of 2024 due to a high base, which would be a key factor in the BSP’s decision making.

The country’s headline inflation rose to 5.3% in August from 4.7% in July. It marked the 17th straight month inflation breached the central bank’s 2-4% target.

For the first eight months, inflation averaged 6.6%, still above the BSP’s 5.6% forecast. — K.B. Ta-asan