Jitters about Europe draw traders to Treasurys

Europe jitters draw traders to the safety of Treasurys; foreign central banks buy new notes

Associated Press

Treasury prices rose Thursday as jitters about European debt and the global economy drew money out of higher-risk investments.

Stocks closed mixed after the government said the economy grew late last year at an annual rate of 3 percent. That was the strongest since 2010, but economists think growth has slowed since.

Traders were reminded of Europe's debt woes as Spanish workers protested labor reforms and yields rose for Spanish debt. Spain releases its budget Friday.

Nervousness about slow growth and financial upheaval in Europe drew cash to the relative safety of Treasurys. The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose 44 cents for every $100 invested, pushing its yield down to 2.16 percent from 2.20 percent late Wednesday.

The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 22 cents, pushing its yield down to 3.28 percent from 3.31 percent late Wednesday.

Foreign central banks bought an unusually large portion of $29 billion in seven-year notes auctioned by the Treasury Department. The notes were priced to yield 1.590 percent, roughly in line with the market yield at the time.

In other trading, the yield on the two-year Treasury note was unchanged at 0.34 percent. The yield on the three-month T-bill fell to 0.06 percent from 0.08 percent late Wednesday.

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