Treasury yields in focus as investors monitor data and auctions

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Treasury yields fell on Thursday as trading in the new year kicked off.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, fell about three basis points to around 1.8825%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at around 2.3487%.

Yields traded lower Thursday despite better-than-expected economic data. Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 2,000 to a four-week low of 222,000 in the week ended Dec. 28, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. The number came in lower than estimates of 225,000.

Treasury yields had their biggest drop since 2011 last year, down 76 basis points. Investors fled to safe government bonds in 2019 amid recession fears, and the Federal Reserve’s rate cuts also pushed the yields down.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments after President Donald Trump said earlier this week that the U.S. and China would soon sign a long-awaited trade pact.

The so-called “phase one” deal is set to be signed at the White House on Jan. 15, though the precise details of the agreement have not yet been shared publicly.

Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

The U.S. Treasury is set to auction $35 billion in four-week bills and $35 billion in eight-week bills on Thursday.

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