Treasuries Close Roughly Flat Ahead Of Monthly Jobs Report

After trending higher over the past several sessions, treasuries showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Thursday.

Bond prices spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing roughly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, crept up by less than a basis point to 3.288 percent.

The choppy trading on the day came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday.

Economists currently expect the report to show employment increased by 240,000 jobs in March after climbing by 311,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.

With the monthly jobs report looming, the Labor Department released a report this morning showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits declined from an upwardly revised level in the week ended April 1st.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 228,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 246,000.

Economists had expected initial jobless claims to inch up to 200,000 from the 198,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department noted that beginning with the latest data, the methodology used to seasonally adjust the national initial claims and continued claims reflects a change in the estimation of the models.

Trading on Friday will likely be driven by reaction to the monthly jobs data, as the bond markets will be open despite the Good Friday holiday.

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