Treasuries showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Thursday before ending the day roughly flat.

Bond prices turned lower after seeing initial strength but bounced back near the unchanged line as the day progressed. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by less than a basis point to 1.527 percent.

The early pullback by treasuries came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-month low in the week ended March 6th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 712,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 754,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 725,000 from the 745,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 711,000 in the week ended November 7th.

The choppy trading also came as traders reacted to the results of the Treasury Department’s auction of $24 billion worth of thirty-year bonds, which attracted slightly below average demand.

The thirty-year bond auction drew a high yield of 2.295 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.28, while the ten previous thirty-year bond auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.33.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

Earlier this week, the Treasury revealed its auction of $58 billion worth of three-year notes attracted well above average demand, while its auction of $38 billion worth of ten-year notes attracted roughly average demand.

Trading on Friday may be impacted by reaction to reports on producer price inflation and consumer sentiment.


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