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Treasuries Close Little Changed Following Choppy Trading Day

Following the strong upward move seen in the previous session, treasuries showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Wednesday.

Bond prices spent most of the day lingering near the unchanged line before closely roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, closed unchanged at 1.769 percent.

The choppy trading on the day came as traders kept an eye on reports about the Chinese government's efforts to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Chinese health officials told the Wall Street Journal that hospitals are stepping up preventive measures and government officials are recommending that people not enter or leave Wuhan.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from the National Association of Realtors showing U.S. existing home sales rebounded by much more than anticipated in the month of December.

NAR said existing home sales spiked by 3.6 percent to an annual rate of 5.54 million in December after tumbling by 1.7 percent to a rate of 5.35 million in November. Economists had expected existing home sales to jump by 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.43 million.

With the much bigger than expected monthly increase, existing home sales in December were up by 10.8 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

On a full-year basis, NAR said total existing home sales came in at 5.34 million in 2019, unchanged from the previous year.

"I view 2019 as a neutral year for housing in terms of sales," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Home sellers are positioned well, but prospective buyers aren't as fortunate. Low inventory remains a problem, with first-time buyers affected the most."

Trading on Thursday may be impacted by reaction to U.S. reports on weekly jobless claims and leading economic indicators.

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