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NEW YORK: US long-dated Treasury yields slipped from four-week highs on Monday in choppy trading, ahead of US data in a holiday-shortened week that will give some guidance on whether the world's largest economy could tip into recession in the near future.

Financial markets are closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

After hitting a roughly 14-month low around late March,  US benchmark 10-year and 30-year yields have risen about 17 and 16 basis points respectively.

"I don't think we're nearing recession, but as these things go, they often pop up out of nowhere," said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago.

He cited the US unemployment rate, which has stayed low, but this metric was quite low going into the last three recessions anyway. "So it's a lagging indicator in that regard."

The other interesting thing, Brien said, is that the Federal Reserve has cut rates ahead of the last three recessions.

The Fed's shift from a tightening bias to a neutral one, with the possibility of some easing suggested that if there is corroborating negative data, the Fed would cut rates.

"Right now, there is no data to suggest that a cut is imminent," Brien said.

US retail sales, industrial production, and housing data are due this week and Stan Shipley, fixed income strategist at Evercore ISI in New York, believes those numbers will show a far more stable economy than many initially thought.

Due to the short week, liquidity and activity are likely to be on the light side, analysts said.

"As a result, it follows that we will continue to monitor risk asset performance to provide incremental trading guidance for the Treasury market, at least for the moment," BMO Capital Markets said in a research note.

"In that vein, the start to earnings season was rather impressive as the banks appear to be doing relatively well, adding to some upward pressure on the equity market as the S&P 500 nears a return to record levels," it added.

In afternoon trading, US 10-year note yields slipped to 2.552%, down from 2.56% late on Friday.

Yields on US 30-year bonds were also lower at 2.964% , down from 2.971% on Friday.

On the short end of the curve, US 2-year yields edged lower to 2.393%, compared with Friday's 2.396%.

Yields drifted higher earlier after US data showed a higher-than-expected rise in the New York Fed's Empire State current business conditions to 10.1 in April, from 3.7 in March.

Copyright Reuters, 2019
 

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