Treasury prices dip as unemployment claims fall

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2011 4:25 PM
Treasury prices dip as unemployment claims fall

U.S. government debt prices were little changed Thursday, even after the government said applications for unemployment benefits took a steep drop last week.

The news weakened demand for ultrasafe Treasurys in the morning, but prices quickly recovered. Fear that Europe will fail to contain its debt crisis kept their prices from falling far. Long-term interest rates are still near record lows.

The 10-year Treasury note dipped 3.1 cents for every $100 invested. Its yield ended unchanged from the day before at 1.91 percent.

The price of the 30-year bond dropped 12.5 cents, while its yield increased to 2.91 percent from 2.90 percent late Wednesday. The yield on the two-year note was unchanged at 0.25 percent.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits dropped last week to 366,000. That's the lowest level since May 2008 and the latest in a string of stronger economic reports. Despite the better economic news, bond traders say worries that Europe's debt problems will spiral into a global crisis are driving moves in the Treasury market.

In the market for Treasury bills, the yield on the three-month T-bill was 0.002 percent.