Treasuries Inch Slightly Higher For Second Straight Day
Treasuries moved slightly higher during trading on Thursday, adding to the uptick seen over the course of the previous session.
Bond prices inched higher in morning trading and remained positive throughout the afternoon. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by nearly a basis point to 0.917 percent.
Traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves on the final trading day of the year, with some likely looking to get a head start on New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The uptick by treasuries came even though a report from the Labor Department unexpectedly showed a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 26th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 787,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 806,000.
The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 833,000 from the 803,000 originally reported for the previous month.
“We think that holiday noise and uncertainty about extensions of benefits may have held down claims last week,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
She added, “The risk is for a rise in claims in the weeks ahead now that emergency programs have been extended and an additional $300 in weekly benefits is being provided.”
Following another holiday weekend, economic data may attract attention next week, with traders likely to keep an eye on the monthly jobs data along with reports on manufacturing and service sector activity.