After turning higher over the course of the previous session, treasuries moved back to the downside during trading on Thursday.
Bond prices drifted lower as the day progressed before closing firmly in the red. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.5 basis points to 1.158 percent.
The pullback by treasuries came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing jobless claims decreased from an upwardly revised level but came in above estimates.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 793,000 in the week ended February 6th, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 812,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 757,000 from the 779,000 originally reported for the previous week.
“Additional fiscal stimulus and broader vaccine diffusion will eventually allow the labor market to heal,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
She continued, “But as the January employment data showed, current conditions are still quite weak and declines in new jobless claims are likely to occur only gradually in the near term.”
Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing a modest rebound in U.S. employment in the month of January.
Traders have recently looked for the silver lining in most major economic data, seeing upbeat data as positive for the economy and seeing weaker than expected data as putting pressure on lawmakers to pass more stimulus.
Treasuries saw continued weakness after the Treasury Department revealed its auction of $27 billion worth of thirty-year bonds attracted below average demand.
The thirty-year bond auction drew a high yield of 1.933 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.18, while the ten previous thirty-year bond auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.34.
The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.
The University of Michigan’s preliminary report on consumer sentiment in February is likely to attract attraction on Friday, although trading activity may be subdued ahead of the long weekend.