After seeing early strength, treasuries gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Thursday before closing nearly flat.
Bond prices moved roughly sideways going into the close, lingering near the unchanged line. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by less than a basis point to 2.470 percent.
The roughly flat close by treasuries came as traders looked ahead to release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.
The report is expected to show that employment increased by 175,000 jobs in January after climbing by 156,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.7 percent.
Ahead of the monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report showing a bigger than expected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended January 28th.
The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 246,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 260,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 253,000.
A separate report released by the Labor Department this morning showed a continued increase in labor productivity in the fourth quarter.
The report said productivity climbed by 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter after surging up by a revised 3.5 percent in the third quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 1.0 percent.
The Labor Department also said unit labor costs surged up by 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter following a 0.2 percent uptick in the previous quarter. Costs had been expected to jump by 1.9 percent.
The monthly jobs report is likely to be in focus on Friday, potentially overshadowing separate reports on service sector activity and factory orders.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com