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Source: covid.gov.pk
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924hr
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4,02724hr
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KPK
182,199

imageNEW YORK: US Treasury yields were little changed on Thursday as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly but remained within the range of a strong labor market, leaving investors with no clear signals ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report.

Reports detailing the health of the US economy have been mixed this week and the Federal Reserve has signaled it will make its June interest rate policy decision based on what the data tell them. That kept investors largely on hold as they await the numbers.

"All eyes are on Friday," said Ellis Phifer, market strategist at Raymond James in Memphis.

"We've got the Fed coming out earlier in the week saying we support a June (rate increase) if the data supports it, so everybody focuses on the data, the biggest data of the month being nonfarm payrolls. That's the biggest clue as to what the Fed's going to do."

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and San Francisco Fed President John Williams said earlier this week that raising rates would be on the table at the Fed's upcoming policy meeting on June 14-15. However, both also said they would need to see strong US economic data to be in favor of a rate hike.

The number of Americans filing initial jobless claims rose by the most since February 2015, exceeding the expectations of economists polled by Reuters. But the number of claims filed was still within the range of a solid economy, coming in below the benchmark associated with healthy labor market conditions for a 61st consecutive week, the longest stretch since 1973.

The jobless claims data "was a little bit of a knee-jerk for some," Phifer said, "but the market adjusted to it pretty quickly."

Treasury yields had been up modestly prior to the data release but moved back toward their late-Wednesday levels after its release.

Benchmark 10-year Treasuries fell 3/32 in price to yield 1.79 percent.

A Reuters survey of economists showed nonfarm payrolls likely rose by 202,000 in April after rising 215,000 in March. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 5 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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