Treasury yields higher for second month in a row

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2012 4:36 PM
Treasury yields higher for second month in a row

Treasury yields have risen two months in a row as the stronger U.S. economy lures investors out of the safety of government bonds and into riskier assets like stocks.

On Friday, the government reported that consumer spending grew in February by the most in seven months. Earlier in the week, the government reported that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest since April 2008.

The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 53.1 cents for every $100 invested Friday, pushing its yield to 2.22 percent from 2.16 percent late Thursday. At the beginning of the month, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.99 percent. At the beginning of the year, it was 1.88 percent.

Investors have been reluctant to abandon the safety of Treasurys despite evidence of an economic recovery in the U.S. Growth in the U.S. has been countered with signs of weak economic growth in Europe and Asia.

Higher yields have not translated into higher interest rates for mortgages. The average for the 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.99 percent, near a historic low. Last month, it hit 3.87 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The price of the 30-year Treasury bond on Friday fell $1.37 per $100 invested, pushing its yield up to 3.34 percent from 3.28 percent.

In other trading, the yield on the two-year Treasury note fell to 0.33 percent, from 0.34 percent. The yield on the three-month T-bill rose to 0.07 percent from 0.06 percent late Thursday.