Treasurys decline after promising economic data

AP News
Posted: Oct 05, 2011 3:43 PM
Treasurys decline after promising economic data

Treasury prices sank Wednesday after two encouraging economic reports caused traders to buy riskier investments and sell U.S. government debt.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 72 cents for every $100 invested. That pushed its yield up to 1.90 percent at 3:05 p.m. Eastern time from 1.82 percent late Tuesday.

A private trade group's survey of service sector executives found that utilities, transportation and health care companies are growing slowly. The service sector employs 90 percent of the U.S. work force, so it is crucial for the struggling labor market. New orders and order backlogs increased from August, the Institute for Supply Management said.

Payroll processing company ADP said in a separate report that companies added 91,000 jobs last month, more than in August. The ADP report doesn't always predict the government's official jobs data, which is due out Friday. But it is an important early signal for traders.

The results were stronger than many had expected. Traders shifted money into assets such as stocks, which carry more risk but can gain value quickly when the economy is growing.

The price of the 30-year bond fell $1.69 per $100 invested. Its yield rose to 2.88 percent from 2.78 percent late Tuesday.

Yield is the return an investor would receive by holding a Treasury until it matures. Higher prices push yields lower by canceling out part of that return.

It was the second straight day of rising prices for long-term Treasurys. The yields on 10- and 30-year Treasurys fell sharply in recent weeks after the Federal Reserve said it will buy $414 billion of long-dated U.S. debt and sell the same amount of short-term Treasurys.

The Fed's goal is to reduce long-term interest rates and encourage people to borrow and lend more. Interest rates on loans such as mortgages are tied to the yield on the 10-year note.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.72 percent Tuesday morning, near the record low of 1.71 percent it reached last month. The 30-year bond's yield fell to the lowest in more than two years before starting to rebound on Tuesday.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Tuesday that the Fed's purchases of Treasurys will likely reduce the yield on the 10-year note by another 0.20 percent.

Low rates have so far failed to revive the struggling housing market or give companies the confidence they need to resume hiring.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note was unchanged at 0.26 percent. The yield on the three-month Treasury bill fell to zero percent from 0.01 percent late Tuesday. Its discount wasn't available.