Treasuries Move Higher On Coronavirus Worries, Rebound In Jobless Claims

Treasuries Move Higher On Coronavirus Worries, Rebound In Jobless Claims

Treasuries moved to the upside during trading on Thursday, more than offsetting the slight drop seen in the previous session.

Bond prices moved higher early in the session and remained in positive territory throughout the day. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.8 basis points to 0.854 percent.

Treasuries seemed to benefit from their appeal as a safe haven amid concerns about the near-term economic outlook due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases.

Data from John Hopkins University showed 170,161 new coronavirus cases in the U.S. on Wednesday, the second-highest daily total, while daily deaths reached a new high of 1,848.

The recent surge in coronavirus cases has led several states to impose new restrictions and lockdowns, raising concerns about an economic downturn.

The strength among treasuries also came following the release of a Labor Department report showing an unexpected rebound in initial jobless claims in the week ended November 14th.

The Labor Department said jobless claims climbed to 742,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 711,000.

The rebound came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 707,000 from the 709,000 originally reported for the previous week.

In the previous week, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 282,000 in the week ended March 14th.

“The risk may be for a further rise in claims as coronavirus cases surge and some states impose restrictions on activity,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales jumped by 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 6.85 million in October after soaring by 9.9 percent to a revised rate of 6.57 million in September.

The sharp increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 1.4 percent to a rate of 6.45 million from the 6.54 million originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected spike, existing home sales reached their highest level since February of 2006. Existing home sales were up by 26.6 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

“Considering that we remain in a period of stubbornly high unemployment relative to pre-pandemic levels, the housing sector has performed remarkably well this year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Following the slew of U.S. economic data released over the past few days, the economic calendar is relatively quiet on Friday, potentially leading to an increased focus on the latest coronavirus news.

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