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Risk-on sentiment pushes Treasury notes, Bunds lower

U.S. Treasury notes declined on Thursday, as European stocks and U.S. equity futures rose on signs of increased political stability in the U.K.

US Treasurys

Symbol
Yield
 
Change
US 3-MO
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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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Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes rose to yield 1.5392 percent, after closing the previous trading session at 1.467 percent. Thirty-year bonds traded at a 2.2562 percent yield, following a $12 billion auction on Wednesday with a high yield of 2.172 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

As Treasurys are viewed as a safe-haven asset, they typically fall in price as risk sentiment rises.

German Bunds — seen as a safe-haven somewhat akin to Treasurys — also fell on Thursday. Ten-year Bunds declined to yield -0.1020 percent. This followed an auction by the German Finance Agency on Wednesday when 10-year Bunds were sold with a negative yield for the first time.

German Bunds

The U.S. Treasury will announce the details of a new issue of 10-year TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) on Thursday, which will be auctioned in a week's time.

Theresa May was formally installed as U.K. prime minister on Wednesday evening, ending the uncertainty regarding who would lead the country after David Cameron announced his resignation. May is viewed as a steady pair of hands to lead the country through difficult Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU).

The Dow Jones industrial average set a record high again on Wednesday, notching up a four-day winning streak. Gains followed overnight in Asian and in European equity trade early on Thursday.

Focus will be on the U.K. again on Thursday. Sterling surged to two-week highs against the dollar and euro on Thursday while British share prices turned negative, after the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged, wrong-footing the many investors who had expected a cut.

Market consensus was for a 25 basis point rate cut to 0.25 percent, which would be the bank's first move since 2009. Sterling crept up above $1.33 after hitting 31-year lows below $1.30 following the referendum.

"Since the surprise vote to leave the EU, the U.K. economic outlook has darkened, with early indications of a marked deterioration in sentiment and anecdotal evidence that firms are putting investment and recruitment decisions on ice," Mantas Vanagas, economist at Daiwa Capital Markets, said in a note on Wednesday.

JPMorgan Chase reported better-than-expected earnings Thursday, while BlackRock posted second quarter profits that met expectations.

Weekly jobless claims pointed to momentum in the labor market. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held lower last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 254,000 for the week ended July 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast initial claims rising to 265,000 in the latest week.

The U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI) figures recorded their biggest gain in a year in June as the cost of energy products and services increased.

The producer price index for final demand rose 0.5 percent last month, the largest increase since May 2015, after advancing 0.4 percent in May, the Labor Department said.

— Reuters contributed to this report