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U.S. government debt yields dipped Thursday as investors prepared for the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.
The update on the employment situation, due out Friday morning, will come amid other economic metrics that have suggested a "robust" labor market. ADP and Moody's Analytics said in a report Wednesday that companies continued to hire at a quick pace in October, with private payrolls rising by a better-than-expected 227,000.
Meanwhile, the government said Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 214,000 for the week ended Oct. 27. Signals of a healthy economy tend to push investors away from relatively safe fixed-return investments like government debt.
U.S. manufacturing activity fell short of expectations in October with a gauge of new orders easing to its lowest level since April 2017.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity dropped 2.1 percentage points to 57.7 last month from 59.8 in September. A reading above 50 indicates growth in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.
Economists polled by Refinitiv expected the ISM manufacturing index to hit 59 in October. An index tracking new orders registered 57.4 percent, a decrease of 4.4 percentage points from the September reading of 61.8 percent.
In oil markets, crude futures dropped amid signs of rising supply and growing concerns that demand might weaken on the prospect of a global economic slowdown. Brent crude traded at around $74.72 a barrel on Thursday morning, down 0.3 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $65.01 a barrel.