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Treasury yields fall slightly after jobless claims number disappoints

Treasury yields dipped on Thursday as the latest jobs data came in weaker than expected.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at 0.6250% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond edged down to 1.3212%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The Labor Department said Thursday that a total of 1.30 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, compared to Dow Jones estimates of 1.25 million first-time filers. It was also the 16th straight week in which initial claims totaled at least 1 million. 

Meanwhile, retail sales number came in better than expected. June’s retail sales jumped 7.5%, exceeding expectations of a 5.2% increase per Dow Jones. This reading came after May’s 17.7% surge, which blew past estimates and was the largest reading on record.

Yields had received a boost Wednesday after biotech firm Moderna said its potential Covid-19 vaccine had produced a strong immune response in early-stage human trials.

However, cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in the U.S., with Texas reporting a record daily rise in new cases on Wednesday as nationwide infections reach 3.5 million.

Meanwhile, relations between Washington and Beijing continue to sour, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday saying that the U.S. will impose visa restrictions on Chinese companies such as tech giant Huawei, which he accused of facilitating human rights violations.

The White House also said that President Donald Trump has not ruled out imposing sanctions on Chinese officials as part of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, the punitive measures signed Tuesday against China for its handling of Hong Kong.

Auctions will be held Thursday for $35 billion each of 4-week and 8-week Treasury bills.

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