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Treasuries Give Back Ground On Upbeat Economic Data

After trending higher over the past few sessions, treasuries gave back some ground during the trading day on Thursday.

Bond prices came under pressure in morning trading and remained firmly negative throughout the afternoon. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.1 basis points to 1.809 percent.

The pullback by treasuries came following the release of a batch of upbeat U.S. economic data, including a report from the Labor Department showing an unexpected decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended January 11th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 204,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 214,000. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 216,000.

The Commerce Department also released a report showing U.S. retail sales rose in line with economist estimates in the month of December, with a sharp pullback in auto sales more than offset by strength in other areas.

The report said retail sales climbed by 0.3 percent in December, matching the upwardly revised increase in November.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales increased by 0.7 percent in December after coming in unchanged in November. Ex-auto sales had been expected to climb by 0.5 percent.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also released a report showing a substantial acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of January.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing a slight pullback in homebuilder confidence in January, although confidence remains at an elevated level.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index edged down to 75 in January after jumping to 76 in December.

The modest decrease, which matched economist estimates, came after the index reached its highest level since June of 1999 in the previous month.

Trading on Friday may be impacted by another slew of U.S. economic data, including reports on housing starts, industrial production and consumer sentiment.

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