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Treasuries Extend Upward Trend Amid Worries About Coronavirus Outbreak

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

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, fell by 3.6 basis points to 1.558 percent.

The ten-year yield closed lower for the sixth time in the past eight sessions, dropping to its lowest closing level in well over three months.

Treasuries continued to benefit from their appeal as a safe haven amid renewed concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Chinese health officials, the coronavirus outbreak has killed at least 170 people and infected more than 8,100.

The cases of the mysterious new coronavirus worldwide now outnumber the infections saw during the entire SARS outbreak of 2002 and 2003.

Some companies have already started to warn about the impact of the outbreak on their first quarter corporate results.

Traders largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter continued at the same pace as in the previous quarter.

The Commerce Department said real gross domestic product climbed by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the third quarter and in line with economist estimates.

The pace of GDP growth was unchanged as a downturn in imports, an acceleration in government spending, and a smaller decrease in non-residential investment were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in consumer spending.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits decreased from an upwardly revised level in the week ended January 25th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 216,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level of 223,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000 from the 211,000 originally reported for the previous week.

News on the coronavirus front is likely to remain in focus on Friday, although traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on personal income and spending, consumer sentiment, and Chicago-area business activity.

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