Treasury yields fall after retail spending drops the most on record amid pandemic

Finance

U.S. government debt yields moved lower Friday as investors awaited a host of fresh economic data.

At around 4:45 a.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at 0.6153% while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond declined to 1.2802%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Nervous investors are keeping a close eye on the U.S. jobs market. U.S. jobless claims totaled 2.981 million last week, lifting the total number of unemployment insurance claims filed during the coronavirus crisis to nearly 36.5 million — by far the biggest loss of jobs over a similar period in U.S. history.

More than 4.4 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The infection rate has been explosive in the United States, where there have been 1.4 million known cases.

Yields began their decline earlier this week after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of “significant downside risks” from the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed chief’s gloomy outlook has investors debating whether the U.S. central bank could make another big policy move soon.

Fixed income traders are also likely to be looking ahead to more economic figures due to be released Friday. Those include: retail sales, industrial production, business inventories and consumer sentiment.

There are no Treasury auctions due to take place Friday.

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