Treasury debt prices rose as traders reinvested cash from a record amount of maturing federal government bonds into Treasurys amid persistent worries about the economy.
Analysts estimated the government will give about $70 billion back to investors with government securities that matured this week. Investors, in turn, decided to allocate a portion of the hefty sum to Treasurys, analysts said.
"Cash is certainly there to chase Treasurys. You also have hit some pretty good (technical) support," said Brian Edmonds, head of rates trading at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.
Investors' appetite for Treasurys also was stoked by economic jitters. Oil surged to a series of record high prices this week, breaking above $123 a barrel Wednesday, and financial companies disclosed a fresh round of write-downs and losses stemming from their subprime mortgage exposure, analysts and traders said.
"The problems are not over," said James Caron, co-head of global rates research with Morgan Stanley in New York.
Credit and economic concerns overshadowed a firm stock market and a relatively weak auction of 10-year notes Wednesday, analysts said.
Traders also brushed off Thursday's government data showing a decline in U.S. jobless claims, which came within analyst expectations.
The $70 billion in proceeds is the biggest ever for quarterly refunding, according to Lew Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, in Jersey City, NJ.
The Treasury Department was scheduled to add $6 billion to prior 30-year bond issue later Thursday. The results on the reopening, part of this week's government quarterly refunding, will be announced shortly after 1 pm.
The price on the 30-year or long bond was up 13/32 at 96-18/32. Its yield which moves inversely with its price, was 4.60 percent, down from 4.61 percent late Wednesday.
The benchmark 10-year note's price last traded 11/32 higher for a yield of 3.83 percent, down from 3.87 percent late Wednesday.
Among shorter maturities, two-year notes were up 4/32 in price for a 2.25 percent yield, down from 2.32 percent late Wednesday, while five-year notes last traded up 9/32 for a 3.01 percent yield, down from 3.09 percent.
US government debt prices rose, as traders plowed cash from this week's government quarterly refunding back into Treasurys.
The price on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last traded up 5/32 at 100-7/32. Their yield which move inversely with their price was 3.85 percent, down from 3.87 percent late Wednesday.