U.S. Treasury yields slipped Thursday, marking a back-to-back drop as labor-market data suggested unemployment remained stubbornly higher, with investors also handling concerns around a re-acceleration of COVID-19 infections.
What are Treasurys doing?
The 10-year Treasury note yield
fell 3.9 basis points to 0.693%, while the two-year note rate
edged down 0.2 basis points to 0.193%. The 30-year bond yield
slipped 6.2 basis points to 1.461%.
What’s driving Treasurys?
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 1.51 million, above the forecast of 1.35 million from MarketWatch-polled economists. Continuing claims stayed at an elevated 20.54 million, after hitting a peak of 23 million in May.
Other economic data was more positive, with the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index for June rising to 27.5 in June from negative-43.1, marking its first positive reading since February
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, in congressional testimony, said Tuesday that a strong job market was key to combating inequality, and was where the central bank could do the most to help low-income and minority communities. His remarks speak to worries that Black and Latino workers saw the biggest shock when the coronavirus pandemic forced the closures of businesses across the U.S.
The market also tracked the data on new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations as the total tally of cases continues to lurch higher in Florida, Texas and Arizona. Concerns around the health front was responsible for raising demand for haven assets like government paper.
Worries about a second wave of infections in China eased after Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday the capital’s recent coronavirus outbreak has been brought under control.
What did market participants say?
“There’s still signs of hesitation in markets that are pushing back against the optimism in stocks to a certain degree,” said Marvin Loh, senior global market strategist at State Street, in an interview, referring to the depressed level of long-dated bond yields.