U.S. government debt prices were higher Friday morning after the latest data showed that 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last six weeks.
At around 3:10 a.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price was down at 0.6007%, having briefly fallen below 0.6% on Thursday following the release of last week’s jobless claims figures. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 1.2446%.
First-time filings for unemployment insurance hit 3.84 million last week, again exceeding market expectations bringing the tally since the coronavirus pandemic took hold to 30.0 million. The jobless toll now accounts for 18.4% of the country’s working age population.
U.S. consumer spending dropped 7.5% in March compared with a year earlier, while personal incomes fell 2% over the month, data showed on Thursday.
Risk-off sentiment has also been driven by a threat from U.S. President Donald Trump late on Thursday to impose retaliatory tariffs on China over the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump suggested that the long-awaited trade agreement signed by the world’s two largest economies in January was now of secondary importance.
Half of all U.S. states are now forging ahead with their own strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses shuttered by the crisis, despite warnings from health experts over a lack of wide-scale virus testing and other safeguards.
Economic data will also be in focus on Friday, with April’s Markit and ISM manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) readings set for release at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET, respectively.
There are no Treasury auctions scheduled for Friday.
– CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.