US Treasury yields seesaw after big jobs report miss

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U.S. government debt prices traded in a wide range Friday, as investors digested weaker-than-expected U.S. employment data.

The U.S. economy added 160,000 jobs in April. Economists had forecast job gains of 202,000 in April, according to Thomson Reuters. The unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent, while average hourly earnings had a 2.5 percent annualized gain.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, rose to 1.783 percent. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond also climbed to 2.635 percent. Two-year yields, meanwhile, traded at 0.738 percent.

After the release, most U.S. Treasury yields briefly fell to nearly four-week lows, and the two-year yield dipped to its lowest level since Feb. 12.


The jobs report comes at a tenuous time for the U.S. economy, which grew just 0.5 percent in the first quarter and is on pace for just a 1.7 percent rise in the second quarter, according to the Atlanta Fed.

Recent indications show little underlying momentum. A report earlier this week from ADP and Moody's Analytics had projected private job creation at just 156,000. Retail sales have been mostly weak, productivity has remained low and concerns remain over the muted pace of wage growth.

Elsewhere on the data front, consumer credit is due at 3 p.m.

Investors also kept an eye on oil markets Friday, as prices erased losses to trade mildly higher. Brent crude traded at $45.47 a barrel, up 1 percent, while U.S. crude was at $44.74, up 0.95 percent.

—CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox contributed to this report