U.S. government debt prices were slightly higher Thursday morning as fears over the global spread of the new coronavirus continue to hammer risk assets.

At around 2:50 a.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was slightly higher at 1.3170% having earlier hit a new record low. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 1.8082%, having previously tested the all-time lows seen earlier this week.

The rapid spread of the virus worldwide has sparked fears of a pandemic and wiped more than $3.6 trillion from global stock markets by Wednesday’s close.

The U.S. has confirmed its first possible “community spread” of the virus in a patient in California, while South Korea reported another surge in cases on Thursday morning, confirming that 334 more people had been diagnosed and taking the country’s total to 1,595.

Saudi Arabia has suspended the entry of foreigners for pilgrimage and tourism purposes, while a Japanese woman has become the first person to contract the virus for a second time..

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence will be in charge of the U.S. response.

Second estimates of U.S. fourth-quarter GDP (gross domestic profit) are due for publication at 8:30 a.m. ET, along with fourth-quarter PCE (personal consumption expenditures) prices, January durable goods orders and last week’s continuing jobless claims.

Auctions will be held Thursday for $50 billion in 4-week Treasury bills, $45 billion in 8-week bills and $32 billion in 7-year notes.

Read More