US Treasury prices decline on jobless rate

By Janna Herron , AP


Investors dumped Treasurys on Friday after the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped in January. The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell US$1.25 per US$100 invested. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, rose to 3.65 percent from 3.55 percent late Thursday. The U.S. Labor Department said Friday the jobless rate fell to 9 percent from 9.4 percent in January. Analysts were expecting the rate to inch up to 9.5 percent. The rate decline overshadowed another government survey showing that fewer jobs were added in January than expected, largely due to the snowstorms that blanketed much of the country last month. Investors seek the safety of Treasurys when the economy appears rocky. Upbeat economic data this week has convinced traders that the economy is growing. Yields had been in a tight range since the year began after spiking on expectations of economic growth at the end of last year. Traders also sold bonds ahead of the US$72 billion in new issues from the Treasury Department next week. The department will auction US$32 billion in three-year notes on Tuesday, US$24 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday and US$16 billion in 30-year notes on Thursday. In other trading, the price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell US$1.66 per US$100 invested, while its yield rose to 4.73 percent from 4.67 percent late Thursday. The yield on the two-year note rose to 0.76 percent from 0.71 percent.