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Markets

Yields steady despite soaring jobless claims

The benchmark 10-year yield was down 4.4 basis points at 0.5908pc in morning trading. The two-year US Treasury
02 Apr 2020
  • The benchmark 10-year yield was down 4.4 basis points at 0.5908pc in morning trading.
  • The two-year US Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 1.2 basis points at 0.2216pc in morning trading.

BOSTON: US Treasury yields were little changed on Thursday despite an enormous rise in weekly jobs claims, as investors struggled with the unprecedented data and tried to gauge when the coronavirus pandemic's economic impact might peak.

The benchmark 10-year yield was down 4.4 basis points at 0.5908pc in morning trading.

That was within a basis point from where it stood at 8:30 a.m., when the US Labor Department reported the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week shot to a record high for a second week in a row - topping 6 million.

More jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession.

Other yields also did not move much after the report, leaving just a slight difference in a closely watched portion of the US Treasury yield curve measuring the gap between yields on two- and 10-year Treasury notes. It was at 36 basis points, less a basis point lower than Wednesday's close.

Stock futures pared gains on the report but also did not change dramatically.

Analysts contacted by Reuters said the subdued market reaction suggested the jobless numbers were so wide they were hard to fit into traditional models.

"The bad data is being priced in. We know that a large part of the economy is shutting down, so maybe people just expected an outlandish number," said Priya Misra, head of global rates strategy at TD Securities in New York.

"Now the market is more focused on the length of time the shutdown will last," she said.

The two-year US Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 1.2 basis points at 0.2216pc in morning trading.