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MW: Treasury notes draw ‘safety’ buying after U.S. airstrikes, pushing yields to November levels
 
Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell Friday to their lowest point since November, moving opposite of prices as investors fled riskier assets to haven investments in the wake of U.S. airstrikes on a Syrian airbase.

Yields for 10-year notes TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.84% moved down to 2.322% from 2.341% late Thursday. Yields fell as low as 2.289% on Friday, the lowest since November, in the wake of reports about the U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Treasury yields for 2-year notes TMUBMUSD02Y, +0.64% were nearly flat at 1.246%, after touching a two-week low of 1.218% on Thursday. Yields for the 30-year bond TMUBMUSD30Y, -0.76% fell to 2.972% from 2.988% Thursday.
Bond prices and yields are inversely related, and one basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point.


U.S. stocks were expected lower based on futures trading.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the strikes late Thursday against the base controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in retaliation for a chemical attack, believed launched from the base on Tuesday that killed at least 70 people. Syria has been locked in a six-year civil war and the strike marks Trump’s biggest foreign policy crisis of his young administration.

While U.S. allies including the U.K., Australia and Saudi Arabia, as well as Syria’s opposition group, welcomed the move, Russia and Iran condemned the U.S. action.

The strike also comes at a time when Trump is holding diplomatic talks with China. Yields were already heading mostly lower late this week ahead of meetings between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, which could set the tone for relations between the world’s largest economies.

The important two-day summit continues Friday. It’s set at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and comes amid tough rhetoric on China from the U.S. president, which has helped to escalate fears of a possible trade war with Asia. Trump has accused China of manipulating the yuan CNYUSD, +0.0014% lower to give it an unfair edge to Chinese exporters. He has threatened to levy a 45% tax on imports from China.

Jobs on deck: Financial markets are also awaiting the Labor Department’s monthly employment report released Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern and its implications for the pace of what are expected to be additional Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes this year. Bonds continue to be tugged by expectations for higher short-term interest rates via the Fed, renewed demand for “safety” amid geopolitical tension and uncertainty around President Trump’s economic-growth plans, factors that have driven prices up and yields lower.

Friday’s job report will follow strong readings in a private-sector hiring report midweek and a sharp drop in weekly jobless benefits claims reported Thursday. But the government’s snapshot may reflect some weather issues.

“Economists see U.S. jobs gains slipping in March after February’s warm weather boost. Winter storm Stella likely disrupted hiring, especially in the leisure and construction industries,” said Richard Turnill at BlackRock, in a commentary. “Yet fewer hours worked may boost average hourly earnings.”

Source