Yields inch lower after US jobless claims fall


U.S. Treasury debt yields reversed earlier gains on Thursday in choppy trading after weekly jobless claims in the world's largest economy fell to their lowest level in nearly 42 years, suggesting the U.S. labor market was improving at a steady pace.

Data showed on Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 26,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 255,000 for the week ended July 18, the lowest since November 1973. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.

Claims are volatile during summer when automakers usually shut assembly plants for annual retooling.

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"The jobless claims have been likely affected by the seasonal auto-retooling shutdown, and that has given yields a slight boost," said David Keeble, global head of interest rate strategy at Credit Agricole in New York.

"But we're not getting away from the fact that the employment market is still humming away quite nicely."

In afternoon trading, benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields were at yield 2.29 percent, from a yield of 2.325 percent late Wednesday. U.S. 30-year yields were down to yield 3.00 percent.

yields rose to a five-week high of 0.727 percent. It was last down to yield 0.69 percent.