Treasuries Move To The Downside Following Strong Economic Data

Following the rebound seen in the previous session, treasuries moved back to the downside as trading resumed on Monday.

Bond prices regained some ground after an initial drop but remained firmly in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 4.1 basis points to 1.720 percent.

The weakness among treasuries came as the release of strong U.S. economic data reduced the appeal of safe havens such as bonds.

The Labor Department’s closely watched jobs report, which was released while the markets were closed on Friday, showed employment in the U.S. spiked by much more than expected in the month of March.

The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 916,000 jobs in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 468,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 647,000 jobs compared to the addition of 379,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected increase in employment reflected widespread job growth, with employment in the leisure and hospitality sector once again leading the way.

The stronger than expected job growth resulted in a continued decrease by the unemployment rate, which fell to 6.0 percent in March from 6.2 percent in February. The drop matched expectations.

With the decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 4.4 percent in March of 2020, when coronavirus lockdowns were just starting to take effect.

The Institute for Supply Management also released a report this morning showing its reading on activity in the service sector soared to an all-time high in March.

The ISM said its Services PMI surged up to 63.7 in March from 55.3 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists had expected the index to rise to 58.5.

“Respondents’ comments indicate that the lifting of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic-related restrictions has released pent-up demand for many of their respective companies’ services,” said Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee.

Looking ahead, the U.S. economic calendar for Tuesday is relatively light, potentially lead to a choppy trading day.

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