Treasuries Regain Ground Following Recent Weakness
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After trending lower over the past several sessions, treasuries regained some ground during the trading day on Thursday.
Bond prices moved steadily higher over the course of the session before closing firmly positive. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 5.2 basis points to 2.450 percent.
The rebound by treasuries may partly have reflected bargain hunting following the downward move seen over the five previous sessions.
Treasuries may also have been benefited from modest weakness on Wall Street, with stocks pulling back off record highs.
Traders were also digesting another batch of economic data, including a report from the Labor Department showing a modest increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended February 11th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged up to 239,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 234,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 245,000.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed a pullback in housing starts in January, although the report also showed a jump in building permits.
The Commerce Department said housing starts fell by 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.246 million in January after jumping by 11.3 percent to a revised 1.279 million in December.
Meanwhile, building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, jumped by 4.6 percent to a rate of 1.285 million in January after rising by 1.3 percent to a revised 1.228 million in December.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also released a report showing a substantial acceleration in the pace of growth in regional activity in February.
The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region soared to 43.3 in February from 23.6 in January, with a positive reading indicating growth.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department announced the details of next week's auctions of two-year, five-year, and seven-year notes.
The Treasury said it plans to sell $26 billion worth of two-year notes next Tuesday, $34 billion worth of five-year notes next Wednesday, and $28 billion worth of seven-year notes next Thursday.
Following the slew of U.S. economic data released over the past two days, the schedule of releases for Friday is relatively light.
The Conference Board is due to release its report on leading economic indicators in January, with the leading economic index expected to rise by 0.4 percent.
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