Concerns over Europe help lift Treasury prices

AP News
Posted: Aug 30, 2012 5:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. government bond prices edged up Thursday as concerns about Europe lured traders into the U.S. Treasury market.

The price of the 10-year Treasury rose 25 cents for every $100 invested. The higher price lowered the 10-year yield to 1.61 percent from 1.66 percent late Wednesday. When bond prices rise, their yields fall.

Mariano Rajoy, Spain's prime minister, reportedly said he would postpone asking other European countries for help. Rajoy and France's President Francois Hollande said they want the European Central Bank to help reduce borrowing costs for the region's struggling countries.

In its last auction this week, the Treasury raised $29 billion from a sale of seven-year notes Thursday. The notes were sold to yield 1.08 percent, much lower than this year's average borrowing rate of 1.28 percent.

Demand for the notes was slightly stronger than the recent average. Buyers placed $2.80 in bids for every $1 up for sale.

Bond traders were also looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on Friday. They will be looking for any hints that the Fed is readying more steps to support the economic recovery. In previous efforts, the Fed bought more than $2 trillion in Treasurys and mortgage bonds.

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In other trading, the 30-year Treasury bond rose 34.3 cents for every $100, pushing the 30-year yield down to 2.74 percent from 2.77 percent late Wednesday. The yield on the two-year note fell to 0.26 percent from 0.28 percent.

In the market for short-term bills, the three-month T-bill paid a yield of 0.10 percent.