Bonds

Treasury yields fall as fears of Middle East military escalation abate

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Treasury yields fell on Thursday as fears of a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran eased.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, dipped to 1.86%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was lower at 2.33%.

Both Washington and Tehran on Wednesday dialed back their combative rhetoric following retaliatory Iranian strikes on U.S. military targets in Iraq, in response to the killing last week of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

Yields' decline came after data from the Labor Department showed jobless claims fell more than expected last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 214,000 for the week ended Jan. 4, marking the fourth straight weekly decline.

'Standing down'

Though fears of a military conflict have tentatively abated, which led to a push higher for Treasury yields late Wednesday, some investors are seemingly reluctant to unwind safety positioning just yet.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Iran "appears to be standing down" after firing at least a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. targets.

However, he announced that Washington will "immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime."

Auctions will be held Thursday for $35 billion worth of four-week bills and $35 billion in eight-week bills.