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Treasuries Extend Upward Trend Following Slew Of Data

Extending the upward trend seen over the past several sessions, treasuries moved notably higher during trading on Thursday.

Bond prices pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained firmly positive. As a result the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid 5.2 basis points to 1.529 percent.

With the continued decrease on the day, the ten-year yield tumbled to its lowest closing level in three years.

The advance by treasuries came as traders digest an avalanche of U.S. economic data, including mixed reports on retail sales and industrial production.

The Commerce Department released a report showing U.S. retail sales climbed by much more than expected in July, partly reflecting the impact of online retail giant Amazon's (AMZN) Prime Day promotion.

The report said retail sales climbed by 0.7 percent in July after rising by a revised 0.3 percent in June. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.4 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a drop in auto sales, retail sales surged up by 1.0 percent in July following a revised 0.3 percent increase in June. Ex-auto sales had been expected to climb by 0.4 percent, matching the growth originally reported for the previous month.

The jump in ex-auto sales partly reflected a 2.8 percent spike in sales by non-store retailers amid Amazon's Prime Day sales.

However, the Federal Reserve released a separate report unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in industrial production in July.

The Fed said industrial production edged down by 0.2 percent in July following a revised 0.2 percent increase in June.

Economists had expected industrial production to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected drop in production was partly due to a pullback in manufacturing output, which fell by 0.4 percent in July after climbing by 0.6 percent in June.

"The soft July industrial production data show that the manufacturing recession continued into the third quarter," said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "But the latest surveys provide some reason for optimism and, as the retail sales data released earlier today highlight, there is still little evidence that this malaise is spreading to the wider economy."

Separate reports from the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserves showed continued growth in regional manufacturing activity in August, although the pace of growth in the Philadelphia region slowed from last month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department released a report showing a bigger than expected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended August 10th.

The economic calendar is relatively light on Friday, although traders are still likely to keep an eye on reports on housing starts and consumer sentiment.

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