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US 10-year Treasury yield briefly dips below 1.7%

Traders in the 10-year bond options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade signal orders.
Frank Polich | Reuters
Traders in the 10-year bond options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade signal orders.

U.S. government debt prices rose on Thursday, as investors digested U.S. employment data and as global equity markets slipped.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.695 percent, after hitting its lowest level since March 1. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond also dipped to 2.517 percent, after falling to a Feb. 24 low. Two-year yields were also lower, trading at 0.696 percent, and hit a Feb. 24 low earlier in the session.

U.S. weekly jobless claims fell 9,000 to 267,000. Economists polled by Reuters expected the number to come in at 270,000.

"Bottom line, the story remains the same with the current pace of firing's pretty muted outside of the oil/gas and manufacturing sectors," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group said in a note.

Consumer credit data are due at 3 p.m. ET.

Symbol
Yield
 
Change
%Change
US 3-MO
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US 1-YR
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US 2-YR
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US 5-YR
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US 10-YR
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US 30-YR
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Thursday will also see an historic gathering, with current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appearing alongside former chairmen Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker at 5:30 p.m. ET in New York. The program is entitled "When the Fed speaks, the world listens."

There'll also be more comment from Fed members later in the evening when Kansas City Fed President Esther George speaks at 8:15 p.m. ET.

On Wednesday, investors digested the latest set of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Minutes from the March meeting suggested a divided central bank, with many policymakers showing caution towards an interest rate hike in April, while others indicated that it was justified.

U.S. sovereign bond prices fell on Wednesday amid a wider "risk-on" move in global asset markets.

In oil markets, which have been a driver for equities in recent months, Brent crude traded 1.7 percent lower at $39.15 a barrel Thursday, while U.S. crude was down 2 percent at $36.99 a barrel.

— CNBC's Patti Domm and Alex Gibbs contributed to this report