US Treasury yields tick lower after jobless claims data

Traders work in the S&P 500 options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
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U.S. Treasury yields inched down slightly on Thursday following weekly jobless claims data that came in lower than expected.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 270,000 for the week ended Aug. 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.

Earlier in the day, U.S. government debt prices were trading flat as investors prepared for Friday's key employment report, which could be a deciding factor in whether the U.S. Federal Reserve decides to raise interest rates later this year.

Goldman Sachs economists raised their forecast for nonfarm payrolls to 225,000 from 210,000 after the ISM nonmanufacturing survey surged to a 10-year high and included a surprisingly strong employment component.

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Economists expect a consensus 223,000 nonfarm payrolls, and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note moved lower to 2.229 percent, after closing at 2.226 percent, adding to gains seen on Tuesday.

The yield on the 30-year bond also ticker lower at 2.905 percent after hitting a session low of 2.926 percent. When a bond's yield falls, its price rises.

In the U.K. a deluge of data is expected from the Bank of England. The bank will release its interest rate decision, minutes of its Monetary Policy Committee meeting, and its quarterly inflation data and gross domestic product outlook all in one go at midday London time.