Treasuries Finish Lackluster Session Nearly Unchanged

Treasuries turned in a lackluster performance throughout the trading day on Thursday before ending the session nearly unchanged.

Bond prices spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by less than a basis point to 0.613 percent.

The choppy trading on the day came following the release of the Labor Department’s report on initial jobless claims in the week ended April 18th.

The report showed more than 4 million people filed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, although that reflects a continued decline from the nearly 7 million people that filed first-time claims in the last week of March.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 4.427 million, a decrease of 810,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 5.237 million.

Economists had expected jobless claims to slump to 4.200 million from the 5.245 million originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims remain at a substantially elevated level due to the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown but have slid steadily since reaching a record high of 6.867 million in the week ended March 28th.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed a substantial decrease in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of March.

The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 15.4 percent to an annual rate of 627,000 in March after tumbling by 4.6 percent to a revised rate of 741,000 in February.

Economists had expected new home sales to nosedive by 15.7 percent to an annual rate of 645,000 in March from the 765,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Trading on Friday may be impacted by reaction to reports on durable goods orders and consumer sentiment, although news on the coronavirus front is likely to remain in the spotlight.

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