Treasurys are mixed ahead of November jobs report

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2009 6:06 PM

Most Treasury prices slipped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said the economy is continuing to improve.

The moves were mainly modest, however, as investors sought to hold on to the profits they've made this year.

Matt Hastings, a portfolio manager at Charles Schwab Investment Management, said traders are becoming increasingly cautious as the end of the year approaches. "People's years, for the most part, are made," Hastings said.

The 10-year Treasury fell 6/32 to 100 15/32. Its yield, which is a benchmark for many consumer loans, rose to 3.32 percent from 3.29 percent late Tuesday.

The Fed said the economy continued to improve in recent months as shoppers boosted spending and factories increased production. The upbeat report lessened demand for safe-haven assets.

The drops were modest ahead of a key report on jobs due on Friday and debt auctions next week.

A payroll company's report indicated job losses are slowing, but not as fast as expected. That weighed on stocks, though most ended higher.

The ADP National Employment Report said 169,000 private sector jobs were lost in November. That's slightly worse than the 160,000 cuts expected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, but better than the 195,000 jobs lost in October.

It was the eighth consecutive month of narrowing losses, but not enough to rally investors to move much deeper into riskier assets like stocks at the expense of government-backed debt.

The ADP report is often used as a gauge for Friday's Labor Department report, which is expected to show the nation's unemployment rate remained flat at 10.2 percent in November, economists predict.

Bond trading has been muted recently ahead of auctions for new debt. The Treasury Department is scheduled to sell three- and 10-year notes next week, along with 30-year bonds.

In other trading, the price of the two-year note slipped 3/32 to 100 1/32. Its yield rose to 0.73 percent from 0.68 percent.

The price of the 30-year bond rose 15/32 to 102 1/32. Its yield fell to 4.25 percent from 4.28 percent.

The yield on the three-month T-bill was flat at 0.04 percent. Its discount rate stood at 0.05 percent.

The cost of borrowing between banks dipped. The British Bankers' Association said the rate on three-month loans in dollars _ the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor _ slid to 0.2550 percent from 0.2553 percent.