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Treasuries Climb Well Off Worst Levels But Still Close Lower

Treasuries regained some ground after an initial move to the downside but still ended Wednesday’s trading modestly lower.

Bond prices were nearly unchanged in mid-day trading but drifted lower as the afternoon progressed. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by 1.5 basis points to 0.630 percent after reaching a high of 0.658 percent in early trading.

The initial weakness among treasuries came as upbeat news on the coronavirus vaccine front helped traders shrug off news of a record single-day spike in new Covid-19 cases in the U.S.

Biotech firm Moderna (MRNA) said its experimental vaccine for Covid-19 was safe and produced strong immune responses in all 45 patients in an ongoing early-stage human trial.

An interim analysis of the open-label Phase 1 study of the vaccine candidate was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Traders were also reacting to a report from the Federal Reserve showing U.S. industrial production spiked by even more than anticipated in the month of June.

The report said industrial production soared by 5.4 percent in June after jumping by 1.4 percent in May. Economists had expected production to surge up by 4.3 percent.

Despite the substantial increase, the Fed noted industrial production remained 10.9 percent below its pre-pandemic February level.

Selling pressure waned over the course of the morning, however, partly reflecting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of plans to impose visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese tech companies like Huawei.

The announcement by Pompeo is likely to add to rising tensions between the U.S. and China, which have recently surged over China’s interference with Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Nonetheless, treasuries maintained a negative bias amid optimism the economic threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic could be addressed in the relatively near future.

Trading on Thursday may be impacted by reaction to a slew of U.S. economic data, including reports on initial jobless claims, retail sales and homebuilder confidence.

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