Treasurys rise on uncertainty after Japan's quake

AP News
Posted: Mar 14, 2011 5:30 PM
Treasurys rise on uncertainty after Japan's quake

Traders rushed to the safety of U.S. bonds Monday after Japan's devastating earthquake and its aftermath brought fears of a slowdown in Japan's economy and the political crisis in the Middle East intensified.

Shorter-term Treasurys usually benefit the most from such flights into safer assets. Yields on two-year notes reached multi-week lows, falling to 0.60 percent from 0.65 percent Friday.

The 10-year note is up 31 cents, pushing the yield down to 3.36 percent from 3.41 percent late Friday. Yields rise when prices fall.

Signs of instability usually lead traders to rush into safe investments like Treasurys. Last week's earthquake and tsunami along Japan's northeast coast killed thousands and has raised fears of a slowdown in the world's third-largest economy. Japan's central bank pumped a record $184 billion into money market accounts to encourage bank lending.

In Libya, heavy fighting continued to rage between the eastern opposition and forces loyal to the leader Moammar Gadhafi. In Bahrain, a Saudi-led military force crossed into the country to prop up the monarchy against widening demonstrations. It was the first cross-border military operation to quell unrest since the Arab world's rebellions began in December.

The stock markets fell in response. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51.24, or 0.4 percent, to 11,993.16.

The 30-year bond rose 9 cents. Its yield fell slightly to 4.54 percent from 4.55 percent.

The yield on the three-month T-bill fell to 0.08 percent from 0.09 percent. The discount was 0.09 percent.