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U.S. government debt yields rose slightly on Thursday after first-quarter gross domestic product growth slowed more than expected thanks to anemic consumer spending.
increased at a 2 percent annual rate in the January-March period, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Its third estimate of first-quarter GDP fell short of the 2.2 percent pace it reported last month.
Economists blamed the revision on the weakest performance in consumer spending in nearly five years, though growth appears to have since regained momentum as a tight labor market and tax cuts begin to take effect.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was barely higher at around 2.851 percent at 2:15 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond slipped to 2.981 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
As anticipated, fears surrounding a potential trade war between the U.S. and other major economies continue to plague market sentiment. Not only is the U.S. in a tit-for-tat war of words with China on tariffs, but now the European Union is involved, after President Donald Trump took to Twitter last week to threaten a 20 percent tariff on all car imports from the bloc.
On Wednesday, a Trump administration official stated that the government would rely on the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment to take care of matters concerning foreign purchase of domestic technologies that are deemed sensitive. As the topic of trade continues to keep investors around the world on edge, markets appear to be doing the same – awaiting any information.
The U.S. Treasury will auction $30 billion in seven-year notes. The size of three individual bills, all due to take place next week, will also be announced.
The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in seven-year notes at a high yield of 2.809 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.53. Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 60.6 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 15.2 percent.