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Treasuries Move To The Downside Following Early Volatility

Treasuries recovered from an initial drop only to pull back once again over the course of the trading session on Thursday.

Bond prices finished the day off their early lows but still firmly in negative territory. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 3.3 basis points to 1.610 percent.

The initial weakness among treasuries came as the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting failed to provide much clarity about the outlook for interest rates.

With the subsequent recovery attempt, however, the yield on the two-year note briefly dropped below the yield on the ten-year note.

The yield curve inversion, an indicator of a looming recession, sparked a sharp pullback on Wall Street, although selling pressure waned over the course of the day.

Treasuries drifted back to the downside as the day progressed as traders looked ahead to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Friday.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report before the start of trading showing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected in the week ended August 17th.

The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 209,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level of 221,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 216,000.

A separate report released by the Conference Board showed its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators rose by much more than anticipated in the month of July.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.5 percent in July after edging down by 0.1 percent in both May and June.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board, said the leading economic index suggests the economy will continue to expand in the second half of 2019 but noted "it is likely to do so at a moderate pace."

Powell's speech is likely to be in the spotlight on Friday, overshadowing the Commerce Department's report on new home sales in July.

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