ISSN: 2056-3736 (Online Version) | 2056-3728 (Print Version)


Treasury bonds strengthened Wednesday for the first time in five sessions as a disappointing employment release boosted demand for safe assets. In recent trade, the 10-year note was 6/32 higher, yielding 2.572%, according to Tradeweb. When bond yields fall, their prices rise.

Treasury bonds had sold off since Thursday as investors had cashed in some chips deeming the May rally overdone. The 10-year yield touched 2.4% on May 29, the lowest level since October.

The U.S. private sector added 179,000 new jobs in May, according to the national employment report Wednesday compiled by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics. Economists had expected 210,000 additions.

The report raised concerns over the pace of the economy’s growth. Sentiment toward the economy had brightened in recent days following upbeat manufacturing releases out of the U.S. and China, and car sales in the U.S. have jumped.

The report suggests “some downside risks” for Friday’s nonfarm jobs report, said Annalisa Piazza, analyst at Newedge Strategy.

The nonfarm jobs release includes hiring for both the public and private sector. It is a key gauge of the labor market and is closely watched by the Federal Reserve in setting monetary policy.

Economists expect 210,000 new jobs were created last month, following 288,000 new jobs added in April. The unemployment rate is expected to edge higher to 6.4% from 6.3% in April.

The recent rise of the yield represents a mild setback for the bond market this year. The 10-year yield has tumbled from about 3% at the start of the year.

Concerns about an uneven pace of the global economic growth and reassurance from major central banks to keep interest rates low for longer have boosted the allure of U.S. government bonds. The $12 trillion debt market is the world’s most liquid bond market, drawing buyers for safety.

By Min Zeng